Michael Gothard

Michael Gothard Biography

Michael Gothard as Emile Leopold Locque

Michael Alan Gothard, born in London on June 24, 1939, was a renowned English actor whose career spanned various genres and mediums. He is best remembered for his roles as Kai in the television series Arthur of the Britons and as the enigmatic antagonist Emile Leopold Locque in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

Growing up, Michael Gothard spent his childhood in both Wales and London. After completing his education at Haverstock School, he embarked on a journey through France, exploring various jobs such as a building laborer, trainee reporter, and even a short stint as a clothes model.

Gothard’s acting career was ignited when he joined the New Arts Theatre as a scenery mover and landed the lead role in an amateur film. Encouraged by this success, Michael Gothard attended evening acting classes while working a day job. He became involved in the pioneering Lunchtime theatre productions of the 1960s, which took place in various unconventional locations.


Michael Gothard’s television debut came in 1966, with an appearance in an episode of Out of the Unknown titled The Machine Stops. Subsequently, he appeared in Don Levy’s film Herostratus (1967) and Up the Junction (1968). He gained a loyal female fan base with his portrayal of the villain Mordaunt in the BBC adaptation of Twenty Years After (Further Adventures of the Musketeers).

Michael Gothard’s breakout role was as the nightclubbing killer Keith in the film Scream and Scream Again. His remarkable escape from the police in an Austin-Healey car in the movie captured the attention of audiences and led to more significant roles.

Over the years, Gothard appeared in various noteworthy films, such as Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971), Barbet Schroeder’s La Vallée (1972), and Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers (1973) and its sequel, The Four Musketeers (1974). His role as Kai in the television series Arthur of the Britons further solidified his acting career.

In 1981, Michael Gothard’s casting as henchman Emile Leopold Locque in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only brought him international recognition. He even suggested the character’s iconic octagonal glasses to enhance his menacing presence.

Later in his career, Michael Gothard appeared in Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce (1985), the TV movie Jack the Ripper (1988) alongside Michael Caine, and Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (a.k.a. Fox Mystery Theatre) episode, The Sweet Scent of Death.

Gothard’s final appearances included 1992’s Christopher Columbus: The Discovery and David Wickes’s Frankenstein (1992). Sadly, Michael Gothard, who battled depression throughout his life, took his own life by hanging on December 2, 1992. He was 53 years old.