Legendary actor Michael Crawford reveals the very personal reason why he’s back on stage Now in his 70th year, Crawford has been performing for some 50 years. Brought up in Sheerness, Kent, he began at 12 as a boy soprano, left school three years later and embarked on a career in film, stage and TV alongside such stars as Gene Kelly, Barbra Streisand, Buster Keaton, John Lennon and Steve McQueen. He was christened Michael Patrick Dumbell-Smith, and only discovered years later that the Battle of Britain pilot Arthur Dumbell-Smith – known as Smudge – who he believed to be his dad, was not in fact his father. Shortly after Smudge had been shot down over Ashford, Kent, his grief-stricken widow, Doris, had become pregnant after a one-night stand with a young pilot – and Crawford was the result.
Theatre Review: The Wizard of Oz @ London Palladium Compared with the film, more is made of the fact that Dorothy is an orphan, and that the inhabitants of the Emerald City are ostentatious, callous and negligent. Conversely, the newly introduced joke that the Scarecrow keeps forgetting he wants a brain is wearing, while some of the most popular numbers are reprised just a little too often.