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Michael Evans was a British actor of stage and screen, best known for his role in Gigi, the play that made Audrey Hepburn a star.
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Stage and screen actor. John Michael Evans was born on July 27, 1920, in Sittingbourne, England. His father had been a flier in World War I and his mother a concert violinist. At age 12, Evans said he decided he wanted to be an actor after seeing John Gielgud in the Shakespeare play Richard II. Evans served as a navigator for the Royal Air Force in World War II, flying during the blitz of London. After graduating in 1943 from Winchester College in England, Evans studied at the Old Vic School in London. He made his London stage debut in 1948. That same year, he married Pat Wedgewood. The couple had two sons and divorced after 25 years.
In 1950, he came to Broadway to play a secretive secretary in the short-lived play Ring Round the Moon. He went on co-star in the 1951 production of Gigi as the debonair Gaston who falls in love with young Gigi, played by Audrey Hepburn. The play made Hepburn a star. In the late 1950s, Evans was cast as professor Henry Higgins in a touring production of My Fair Lady, performing in the United States and abroad, including in Russia at the height of the Cold War. Critics noted his resemblance to Rex Harrison, Broadway's original Higgins.
Evans also appeared on several TV shows, including Dr. Kildare, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hunter and I Spy, as well as in such films as Bye Bye Birdie (1963) and Time After Time (1979). From 1980 to 1995, Evans played Col. Douglas Austin, the friend of billionaire Victor Newman, on CBS's long-running The Young and the Restless. Newman is played by Eric Braeden, who hailed Evans as "a total professional from the old English school, a gentleman through and through."
Michael Evans died on September 4, 2007, at an assisted-living facility in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 87.
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