- Birth name:
- Edward John Pate
- Date of Birth:
- 1 September 1920 Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia
Michael Pate began his career in 1938 writing and broadcasting a program called 'Youth Speaks' for ABC Radio with George Ivan Smith. He also wrote for newspapers and magazines and began writing as a book and theatre critic. His book of short stories was published in Australia and the United States. Michael was one of the original members of 'The Youth Radio' at Sydney's 2GB radio station. He starred in 1939 in 'Lux Radio Theatre' and played at The Minerva Theatre and Theatre Royal. He was cast by Charles Chauvel to perform in 'Forty Thousand Horsemen'. When World War II broke, he served in the Australian Army in the SWPA unit. He was later seconded to the 1st Australian Army Amenities Entertainment Unit - The Islanders - in various combat areas. Between 1946-1950, Michael starred in many radio plays and serials. He also began moving into the area of films with parts in Sons of Matthew (1949) and Bitter Springs (1950).He produced, wrote, directed and adapted plays for the theatre and radio. In 1950 Michael had two plays in Australia - 'Dark of the Moon' and 'Bonaventure'. In 1950 Michael went to the United States to do a film version of his play Bonaventure for Universal Pictures. It was released as Thunder on the Hill (1951) starring Claudette Colbert.Subsequently, he appeared in over 50 feature films, guest starred in over 300 TV shows and appeared in numerous live and taped shows for most major US networks. While in the US, he played in a version of his Lux Radio Theatre which was hosted by 'Cecil B. De Mille'. He began teaching acting and lectured on acting for film. He continued writing and wrote numerous screenplays and teleplays for the major networks.In the theatre, he played 2 seasons in 'Medea' opposite Dame Judith Anderson. In 1959, after 9 years in the US, he returned home to Australia to feature in an Australian TV series - 'The Shell Hour'. After which he returned to the US again for another 9 years. In 1968, he returned home to Australia as associate producer for the Columbia Pictures film of Norman Lindsay's Age of Consent (1969). Michael's son Chris worked on the second unit of the film. Between 1958-69, he worked as producer on various shows for all 3 commercial networks. His 'Maggie' show won two Gold Logies for the Seven Network. He produced shows in all areas - musicals, police series, pilots and variety shows including the first of many UNICEF variety shows.In 1970 his textbook 'The Film Actor' was published and he began starring in the Australian police TV series "Matlock Police" (1971). He played in this role for 4 years and was rewarded with a Penguin Award for Best Actor. In 1977 he wrote and produced The Mango Tree (1977). This film is of note because it featured a 25 year old Christopher Pate, Michael's son.The following year he was surprised to find himself the recipient of the Nine Networks 'This Is Your Life'. He continued to keep his hand in theatre with seasons of 'The Human Voice' and 'The Bear' in both Melbourne and Sydney. He began writing the script for Tim (1979), based on the novel of the same name by Colleen McCullough. A film which would not begin production until the following year, but which would garner him a 'Best Screenplay Award' from the Australian Writers Guild. A part in 'Tim' also went to son Christopher.Between 1982-84 Michael joined forces again with his son Chris to co-star together on stage in 'Mass Appeal'. The play was very successful and resulted in a tour of Australia, culminating in a season at the Sydney Opera House.