Michael Jayston came to acting relatively late in life, making his British theater debut at 27. Prior to this, he worked as an accountant for England's National Coal Board, but quit in order to enter London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His first major role was in the lighthearted comedy "The Amorous Prawn", but his specialty was Shakespeare. He had the title role in the 1970 British television mini series version of "Macbeth", and was Gratiano (opposite Laurence Olivier as Shylock) in the 1973 television movie version of "The Merchant of Venice". With these performances, Jayston established himself as a strong character actor. And though he had some notable film roles, such as his starring role in the elaborate romantic drama "Nicholas and Alexandra" and a smaller role, alongside Alec Guinness, in the fifteenth century royal drama "Cromwell", television became Jayston's primary medium in the 1970s. He played Rochester in the 1973 BBC version of "Jane Eyre", and had a part, once again supporting Alec Guinness, in the 1979 adaptation of the popular British spy novel "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". Jayston continued to work steadily in television and theater through the 1980s, perhaps most notably as The Valeyard on the classic science fiction series "Doctor Who". But Jayston also established himself as a popular voiceover artist, finding success with radio dramas and commercial work.