Michael Palin

  • Birth Name: Michael Edward Palin
  • Birth Place: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
  • Profession: Actor, Screenwriter, TV host
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Fast Facts

  • Fell off the stage during his first public performance as a child, when he played Martha Cratchit in a school production of A Christmas Carol.
  • Formed a comedy-writing team while attending Brasenose College with fellow future Monty Python member Terry Jones.
  • Along with Jones, was hired to write for the Frost Report, a BBC sketch comedy show that also employed future Python members Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Eric Idle.
  • Has done a number of travel documentaries for the BBC, beginning with an episode of Great Railway Journeys of the World in 1980.
  • Based his character in the comedy A Fish Called Wanda (1988) on his father Edward, who stuttered.
  • Traveled from the North to South Pole for a travel program called Pole to Pole in 1992.
  • Lent his name to London's Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children, which opened in 1993.
  • Has an asteroid named for him, 9621 Michaelpalin.
  • Serves as the president of Transport 2000, which lobbies for sustainable transportation, such as bikes, buses and trains.


  • 1984, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Song Written for a Film: Nominee
  • 1989, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner


  • Mary Rachel Lockhart Ovey — Mother
  • Edward Moreton Palin — Father
  • Helen Gibbins — Wife
  • Thomas Palin — Son
  • Richard Lockhart Ovey — Grandfather
  • William Michael Palin — Son
  • Rachel Palin — Daughter


  • University of Oxford, Brasenose College, Oxford, England (1965)

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