Sunday, May 31, 2020

Michael Angelis, Long-Time Voice of 'Thomas the Tank Engine', Passes Away Aged 68

Thomas the Tank Engine star Michael Angelis has died. The actor and long-time narrator of the beloved Thomas the Tank Engine series died suddenly while at home with his wife, Jennifer Khalastchi, on Saturday, he was 68. The news was confirmed by his agent.

Michael, who was born in Liverpool, was the narrator on the popular children's show from 1991 to 2012.

The voice-over artist was the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine for seasons 3-7, taking over the role from original voice artist, The Beatles' Ringo Starr. He also served as the narrator of Thomas & Friends in the U.S. until 2004, and narrated the UK edition of Thomas & Friends spin-off Jack and the Sodor Construction Company.

He also worked on many other products and media related to the hit franchise, including the Thomas & Friends video games "The Great Festival Adventure, "Trouble on the Tracks" and "Building the New Line".

Michael was also known for his roles in comedies The Liver Birds and Luv, and TV drama series Boys from the Blackstuff.

Michael also played the villain in series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, starring alongside his Blackstuff co-star Alan Igbon.

Michael, who was married to Coronation Street star Helen Worth from 1991 to 2001, also appeared in a string of films during his career.

His movie career began in 1978 with The Black Stuff.

His last film roles were in 2012, when he appeared in Blue Mountain Mystery and First Time Loser.

Michael re-married after this split from the Gail Platt actress, tying the knot with Welsh model Jennifer Khalastchi in 2001.

Michael was the younger brother of late actor Paul Angelis, who died in 2009 at the age of 77.

Paul was best known for his role as PC Bruce Bannerman in Z-Cars.

Michael also appeared in Z-Cars, appearing in two episodes in 1972 and 1974.

His last credited TV role also came in 2012, when he appeared in Good Cop.

Before that, he'd had acted in The Bill, Boon, Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Holby City and a string of other shows.

Fans of Michael took to Twitter to mourn his death on Saturday night – with many commemorating his work on Thomas the Tank Engine.

One fan tweeted: “Ringo Starr may have started it, but Michael Angelis was the show. There's a reason he was the narrator for over 20 years. He was just that good.”

While another remarked: “Desperately sad to hear the news that dear Michael Angelis has left us.

“To me and many others, he was the definitive voice of this cheeky little engine, his tone calm and gentle but exciting and thrilling as well!

“Thank you, Michael. You were far more than just Really Useful.”

Original source: Mirror; Additional sources: Twitter /@MichaelfromNZ1, Metro.

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