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Reactions to Michael's death

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Dec. 3rd, 1992 | 09:00 am

Former girlfriend N.B.

"I knew he had bouts of depression even during the time we were together. He saw a therapist but not very regularly, but his illness got worse after we had split up.

I don’t know what medication he took, but I am absolutely sure that his suicide was an accident: a moment of weakness and total despair. Had he been able to overcome that moment, he would live to this day! He never said that he would kill himself."


Former girlfriend, M.T.

Per. Belsizepark, who met M.T. in 1999:
She [last] saw him five days prior his death. A friend found him in the morning, and he looked relaxed.

Patients were shocked about his death; he helped so many.

He had a beautiful funeral service, held at Golders Green Crematorium. M.T. arranged everything of the funeral and his estate. Jazz was played at his memorial.


Friend, H.

Michael was a close friend of mine, and was a frequent visitor to our home. My parents always treated him as a member of our family.

He was always outgoing, and as far as I was concerned I never saw him in a depressed state of mind.

In some ways it didn't surprise me that Michael became an actor - when I found out I was really quite proud that I had once known and been a close friend of his.

I heard of Michael's untimely death a number of years ago which came as a huge shock.


Friend, Sean McCormick

"The first and biggest one of course would have to be, was he a victim of fluoxetine?

I've lost seven people of importance in my life to suicide; three of the deaths were directly linked to fluoxetine.

Michael's was the first one.

I'm not closed mouth on my feelings regarding fluoxetine, and the supposed professional pushers that hand the shit out like candy (it's very sad) without taking the time to figure out whether it's right for the person or not. And unfortunately, when they figure it out, it's too late.

It is my understanding that it had been prescribed to him, and he'd been off and on with it for some time. But he had stopped taking it because he (as in so many cases) absolutely hated the total zombie side-effect of the shit, and figured it would be better to be depressed and have your self back than to keep taking it and end up a door-stop.

In the two other deaths of friends of mine on fluoxetine, they too had stopped it because of the zombie-door-stop thing within weeks of killing themselves."


Friends and fellow actors, Oliver Tobias and Benedict Freitag

When dedicating a tree to Michael Gothard, Oliver said: “He was a sensitive man – perhaps too sensitive,” and spoke of remembering Michael holding his head on his lap when the spear had hit him, and he nearly died.

He also mentioned Jack Watson. He said he felt privileged to be the one left alive. Then, clearly affected, he drove the commemorative stake into the ground with considerable force.

Oliver’s brother, Benedict Freitag, who had once met Michael, (before ‘Arthur of the Britons’) and performed a Cheyenne ceremony at the site, said that Michael didn’t have the filters you need, to stop yourself feeling all the suffering going on in the world – “otherwise you give yourself the bullet.”

Though Oliver had gradually lost touch with Michael Gothard after filming the series, it seems likely that Michael’s death was the reason he had closed away the memory of ‘Arthur of the Britons.’


Director, John Glen

"I remember him as a very pleasant person as well as a fine actor ... I was shocked to hear of Michael's untimely death.”


Director, David Wickes

"Each time I welcomed Michael to the set, I knew that we were about to get something special in the can. There are very few actors in that category."


Director, Philip Saville

"I think my observations of Michael led me to believe he was two people. By that, I'm not talking bipolar; rather, what his appearance gave to the screen was not the same as what was within.

Outwardly, he was like an elegant poet, but beneath, there was a cauldron of uncertainty which gave him a tortuous demeanour. Unfortunately this gave casting a problem. So he was considered not a leading man, which he was, but an oddball villain of sorts, which at times were much admired.

Actors need to work so he pursued these frequent offers. But actors, like all true artists, need to develop their craft and talent.

He was a very special person and probably would in time have found a way to be true to himself … Sadly, he chose another way."


Actress, Mathilda May

"I remember him as a lovely person; a gentleman ..."


“Batman” on Britmovie Forum

"Michael's career had hit a bit of a decline, but he had appeared on stage and had made two films (Christopher Columbus and Frankenstein) in the year prior to his death. He had suffered from depression most of his life and this, alongside personal problems, contributed to his early death. RIP Michael."

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