Michael Billington (actor)

Michael Billington (24 December 1941 – 3 June 2005) was a British film and television actor. He was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

Michael Billington
Born(1941-12-24)24 December 1941
Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Died3 June 2005(2005-06-03) (aged 63)



In 1966 Billington appeared in Incident at Vichy at the Phoenix Theatre in London, but was best known for his role as Colonel Paul Foster in the 1970 science fiction TV series UFO and for creating the character of Daniel Fogarty from 1971 to 1974 in the 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 ITV drama series Edward the Seventh (1975). He played gangster John Coogan in one episode ("The Rack") of The Professionals.

Billington lived in the U.S. from around 1979 until 1985. Although he had some good roles, notably as Count Louis Dardinay in The Quest (1982), he did not reach the same level of success as he had in Britain. Billington's last major TV role came in the 1986 BBC drama The Collectors, but his final appearance was in an episode of early 1990s TV series Maigret as a villain.


He 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 did a photo shoot for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and met the film's director Peter Hunt.[1] He was 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. His other film credits included Alfred the Great (1969) and KGB: The Secret War (1985).

Personal lifeEdit

Billington died of cancer in 2005 at the age of 63,[2] five days before his fellow UFO actor Ed Bishop.[3] He was married to Katherine Kristoff.


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Dream A40 Young Man
1967 The Prisoner Woodland Man episode: A Change of Mind
1969 Alfred the Great Offa
1974 Shado Paul Foster
1970-1973 UFO Col. Paul Foster TV Series, 21 episodes
1974 Invasion: UFO
1977 The Spy Who Loved Me Sergei Barsov
1985 KGB: The Secret War Peter Hubbard
1987 Flicks Deputy Inspector (segment 'Whodunit')


  1. ^ "Michael Billington Interview", TV Zone issue #21 (May 1996)
  2. ^ McGillivray, David (29 June 2005). "Michael Billington". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  3. ^ Mateo (10 June 2005). ""UFO" Stars Ed Bishop and Michael Billington Have Died". MetaFilter. Retrieved 31 December 2018.

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