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Michael Palin Biography

Birth Name:
Michael Edward Palin
Birth Place:
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Actor, screenwriter, TV host

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


  • 1989BAFTA Film Awards-Best Actor in a Supporting Role: winner
  • 1984BAFTA Film Awards-Best Original Song Written for a Film: nominated


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