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Biography 
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In 1990, Michael accepted roles in 'To Die For 2: Son Of Darkness' and 'Writer's Block' (opposite Morgan Fairchild).  

After the break-up with long-time partner Finola Hughes, Michael headed back across the Atlantic, connecting with a friend he'd met socially, beautiful dancer Karen Landau.  When Michael accepted a role at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin, Karen took time off so they could be together. 

Left: 'To Die For 2: Son of Darkness' as Max Schreck ©1991 Vidmark Entertainment, Center: 'Writer's Block' as Andrew with Morgan Fairchild ©1991 Wilshire Court Productions, Right: 'Carousel' as Billy Bigelow with Yvonne Brennan ©1991 Tivoli Theatre - Dublin
'To Die For 2:
Son of Darkness'
as Max Schreck
©1991 Vidmark Entertainment
  'Writer's Block'
as Andrew
with Morgan Fairchild ©1991 Wilshire Court Productions,
  'Carousel'
as Billy Bigelow
with Yvonne Brennan
©1991
Tivoli Theatre - Dublin

In Dublin, Michael again performed musical theatre, playing Billy Bigelow in Rogers and Hammerstein's 'Carousel'. Leaving Ireland, Michael Praed undertook the Andrew Lloyd Webber/ Don Black/ Charles Hart musical 'Aspects of Love' at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. He inherited the strenuous lead role of Alex Dillingham from Michael Ball, who created it. Michael finished out the last six months of the run, briefly joined by Sarah Brightman. He spent the final few weeks of the musical simultaneously undergoing training for his next role as an Olympic-level equestrian in Jilly Coopers 'Riders', a four-hour television mini-series.

For 'Riders' Michael faced the challenge of jumping horses over five-foot high fences. The shoot required special jumping lessons from the Royal Lifeguards. During the course of filming, he suffered a serious fall resulting in a concussion, but finished the production despite the pain. Ironically, Michael followed this horse-riding stint with another, playing a knight in Enya's music video 'The Celts'.

Left: 'Aspects of Love' as Alex Dillingham with Diana Morrison ©1991 Photo by Clive Barda for The Really Useful Group Ltd., Right 'Jilly Cooper's Riders' as Jake Lovell with Arabella Tjye ©1993 Anglia Television Films and Drama Ltd
'Aspects of Love'
as Alex Dillingham with Diana Morrison
©1991 Photo by Clive Barda for
The Really Useful Group Ltd.
  'Jilly Cooper's Riders'
as Jake Lovell with Arabella Tjye
©1993 Anglia Television Films and Drama Ltd

Michael returned to the stage to play teddy-boy Mick in Harold Pinter's 'The Caretaker' at the Nottingham Playhouse. The drama was a welcome challenge for Michael. This was followed by 'Within These Walls: For One Night Only', a television movie in which Michael played matinée idol, composer and playwright Ivor Novello. Daphne du Maurier's disturbing 'September Tide' came next. Portraying a man in love with his new mother-in-law, Michael Praed played opposite Susannah York at London's Comedy Theatre in performances labeled 'erotic' and 'mesmerizing'. 

It was while Michael was performing in 'September Tide' that Karen Landau gave birth to his son Gabriel.  The child quickly became one of the cornerstones of Michael's life.

Left: Enya video 'The Celts' , Center: 'The Caretaker' as Mick , Right: 'September Tide' as Evan

'The Celts'
'Enya: The Video Collection' ©1993 Warner Music UK

 

'The Caretaker'
as Mick
 ©1993 Photo by
Gerald Murray

 

'September Tide'
as Evan
 ©1994 Bill Kenwright - Dan Crawford Production

A comedy film directed by Martin Clunes found Michael Praed cast as the gold-digging schemer Gary in 'Staggered'. Labeled "engaging" and "hilarious", the film was well received and Michael enjoyed tackling farce for a change. Casting Michael as a best man in a wedding was a bit ironic as Michael was about to take the step himself.  He married Karen in the Bahamas in November of 1994.

Another stint in a television series immediately followed. 'Crown Prosecutor' had Michael playing clever lawyer Marty James, who had a habit of taking on cases with less-than-savory victims. The short-lived series reunited him with executive producer Esta Charkham, who had worked on 'Robin of Sherwood'.

Left: 'Staggered' as Gary ©1994 A Big Deal Pictures Production, Right 'Crown Prosecutor' as Marty James
'Staggered'
as Gary
©1994 A Big Deal Pictures Production
  'Crown Prosecutor'
as Marty James
©1994 Screenage Pictures Ltd.

Michael's next task was to undertake the role of Otto in the Noel Coward play 'Design For Living' at the Gielgud Theatre for the last three weeks of its run. He took over the major role of a three act play in an emergency.  Michael locked himself in a hotel room over the weekend to memorize, then rehearsed it thrice before taking to the stage before an audience. Afterwards, playing 'Sally' in the 'French and Saunders' television spoof of 'Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman' added a bit more comedy to Michael's resume.

For the next year, Michael Praed took Barry Manilow's 'Copacabana: The Musical' on its very first national UK tour in the lead role of Tony.

In February of 1996, while Michael was performing 'Copacabana' to audiences in Nottingham, his daughter Frankie was born in London.  The tiny infant was months premature and her infinitesimal size struck her father acutely.  After an infancy that was touch-and-go, Frankie gained strength.  Today she's a healthy, active youngster and another mainstay of Michael's life.

Left: 'Copacabana: The Musical' as Tony ©1996 Photo by Michelle Heseltine for Stiletto Entertainment, Right: 'Darkness Falls' as the Hitman,  ©1999 Lion's Gate Entertainment

'Copacabana:
The Musical'
as Tony
©1996 Photo by Michelle Heseltine for Stiletto Entertainment

 

'Darkness Falls'
as the Hitman
  ©1999 Lion's Gate Entertainment

Portraying Jack in 'Dangerous To Know' opposite Rula Lenska followed. At this point Michael went to America to accept a role in a television series.  While waiting for filming to begin, he joined Marcella Detroit in the film 'This Town'. Michael also made a cameo appearance as a hit man with old 'Robin of Sherwood' comrade Ray Winstone in the suspense film 'Darkness Falls'. 

Like 'Robin of Sherwood', Michael's next television series, 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne', developed a cult following. The series was created by Gavin Scott, It told the imaginary adventures of visionary Jules Verne trying to escape the clutches of the evil Count Gregory and his League of Darkness in the mid 1860s. Michael's character, the Bond-like Phileas Fogg, was Verne's protector aboard his airship the Aurora. Also aboard were Phileas' perfect valet Passepartout and cousin Rebecca Fogg, a British secret service agent along the lines of Mrs Peel in 'The Avengers'. The storylines were highly imaginative and the actors complimented one another well.

Left: 'Secret Adventures of Jules Verne' as Phileas Fogg ©1999 Talisman Crest Productions, Right: 'Casualty' as Chris Meredith,  ©2003 BBC

'Secret Adventures of Jules Verne'
as Phileas Fogg
©1999 Talisman Crest Productions

 

'Casualty'
as Chris Meredith
  ©2003 BBC

More guest appearances on television series ensued. Michael Praed appeared in the recurring role of Chris Meredith on the popular hospital drama 'Casualty' several times, once on the short-lived 'Mile High' and once on 'The Terry and Gaby Show'.

~~~

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