Sir Michael Murray Hordern, CBE was an English stage and film actor, whose career spanned nearly 60 years. He is best known for his Shakespearean roles, especially that of King Lear, which he played to much acclaim on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1969 and London in 1970. He then successfully assumed the role on television five years later. He often appeared in film, rising from a bit part actor in the late 1930s to a member of the main cast; by the time of his death, he had appeared in nearly 140 cinema roles. His later work was predominantly in television and radio.
Hordern's film credits included The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Gandhi, The VIPs, Theater of Blood (with Vincent Price), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (as Senex, with Zero Mostel). In television, he was especially active as a voice actor, as the narrator (and all character voices) in The Adventures of Paddington Bear and Badger in the stop-motion film, Wind in the Willows. His BBC radio roles included P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and J. R. R. Tolkien's Gandalf.