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Michael White

  • Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Birthday: January 16
Date of passing: 
March 07, 2016

Michael White was a Scottish-born film, television and theater producer best known for his work on the classic 1975 comedy-musical films The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, Rocky Horror followed the story of a newly engaged couple whose car breaks down in an isolated area and must visit the bizarre home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Holy Grail, which starred Graham Chapman, John Cleese and the other members of the Monty Python comedy troupe, was a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his knights, who embark on a search for the Grail, encountering many obstacles along the way. White also produced the films The Hound of the Baskervilles, Moonlighting, High Season, The Deceivers, Widows’ Peak and Enigma, among others, and he served as an associate presenter on the cult classic My Dinner with Andre.

Additionally, he served as an executive producer on the television show The Comic Strip Presents…, which featured a series of parodies starring performers from London’s Comic Strip comedy club. He also contributed to the series The Glam Metal Detectives (another sketch comedy show), and the series Shoot Me! and Shoot Me! 2, both described as a scripted reality series set in the fashion world.

Michael White was a Scottish-born film, television and theater producer best known for his work on the classic 1975 comedy-musical films The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, Rocky Horror followed the story of a newly engaged couple whose car breaks down in an isolated area and must visit the bizarre home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Holy Grail, which starred Graham Chapman, John Cleese and the other members of the Monty Python comedy troupe, was a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his knights, who embark on a search for the Grail, encountering many obstacles along the way. White also produced the films The Hound of the Baskervilles, Moonlighting, High Season, The Deceivers, Widows’ Peak and Enigma, among others, and he served as an associate presenter on the cult classic My Dinner with Andre.

Additionally, he served as an executive producer on the television show The Comic Strip Presents…, which featured a series of parodies starring performers from London’s Comic Strip comedy club. He also contributed to the series The Glam Metal Detectives (another sketch comedy show), and the series Shoot Me! and Shoot Me! 2, both described as a scripted reality series set in the fashion world.

In 2013, a documentary about White was released. Titled The Last Impresario, it featured interviews with Cleese, John Waters, Naomi Watts, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, Lorne Michaels, Yoko Ono and more, and touted the tagline, “The most famous person you have never heard of.”

White attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked on Wall Street during the 1950s. He began his show business career producing plays in London before transitioning to films. Among the many shows he produced were the musicals A Chorus Line, Annie, Gershwin’s Crazy for You and the suspense drama Deathtrap.

In 1969, he produced Oh! Calcutta! a musical revue of sex-related skits. The controversial show ran for three years in New York, seven years in London, and then had a revival on Broadway that lasted nearly 13 years. White later produced the 1972 film version, his first on-screen credit. Likewise, with Rocky Horror, White first produced a theater version, which ran for seven years on various London stages.

In 2014, White received an award for lifetime achievement at the U.K.'s Olivier Awards.

He died March 7, 2016, in Ojai, California. He was 80.

 

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