MCS was informed that Michael had passed away on 1 April 2010.
The following is his obituary in The Guardian, written by his wife and dated 19 April 2010:
‘After many years as a jobbing actor Michael Behr turned to freelance journalism focussing on arts’
My husband, Michael Behr, who has died aged 82, was an actor who first came to drama while at Oxford University. He appeared as the Duke of York in Richard II and as Ferdinand inThe Tempest for the Oxford University Dramatic Society, where his contemporaries included Kenneth Tynan and John Schlesinger.
Michael was the son of a White Russian who escaped to England during the revolution. He was born in Godalming, Surrey, and educated at Magdalen College School in Oxford, and then Magdalen College. His original choice of subject was English, but he was easily dissuaded from this course when he was told he would have to learn Anglo-Saxon. He plumped for modern history instead – his tutor was AJP Taylor.
After graduating, he worked with the Caryl Jenner Mobile Theatre company and in 1952 joined Glen Byam Shaw’s Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, understudying and spear-carrying. There followed two years at RADA, on Leverhulme and Gielgud scholarships, in the company of Albert Finney, Peter O’Toole and Alan Bates among an exceptional intake. Thereafter he trod the path of the traditional jobbing actor, playing seasons in numerous repertory companies, touring and doing TV and film work. We met in rep in Chesterfield in 1963, and starred together in Private Lives. We married in 1968.
In the late 1960s he became a freelance journalist, writing on the arts and showbusiness for the Times, the Telegraph Magazine, the Evening Standard and, particularly, the Guardian, for whom he interviewed stars and directors such as Finney, Michael Blakemore, Tony Palmer, Alan Clarke and Jenny Agutter. The last decades of his life were devoted to meditation, which he practised twice daily. It helped him through many years of ill health.
His brother, Alexander, died two years ago. He is survived by me and by a daughter, Caroline, and a grandson, from an earlier marriage.