Michael Billington (actor)

Michael Billington (actor)
Michael Billington
Born December 24, 1941(1941-12-24)
Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Died 3 June 2005(2005-06-03) (aged 63)

Michael Billington (born 24 December 1941 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England; died 3 June 2005 in the UK) was a popular British film and television actor.

In 1966 Billington appeared in "Incident at Vichy" at the Phoenix Theatre in London but he was best known for his role as Colonel Paul Foster in the 1970 science fiction series, UFO, and for creating the character of Daniel Fogarty in the 1971-1974 historical drama, The Onedin Line. He also appeared as Sergeant Jacko Jackson of the Royal Wessex Rangers in the series Spearhead and as Czar Nicholas II in the mini-series Edward VII (1975).

Billington's last major television role was in the 1986 BBC drama The Collectors, but his final appearance on TV was in an episode of early 1990s TV series Maigret as the villain.

Billington was screen-tested for the role of James Bond more than any other actor and was said to have been Albert R. Broccoli's first choice had Roger Moore not been available (see: 1981's For Your Eyes Only). Billington also screen-tested for Live and Let Die (1973), Moonraker (1979), and Octopussy (1983). He ultimately appeared in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, playing Sergei Barsov, Agent XXX's ill-fated lover, at the start of the film.

Billington died of cancer at the age of 63, predeceasing Ed Bishop, one of his UFO co-stars, by five days.

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