When Frank Clayton was eliminated in August 2019 following an explosion in the candy factory, the community of Emmerdale was rocked.
Michael Praed’s three-year portrayal of Frank, the father of Vanessa Woodfield and Tracy Metcalfe, transformed him from a shady dealer to a beloved character.
Frank was blamed for the explosion when Kerry Wyatt and her daughter Amy were truly to blame; Frank had just hurried inside to save Tracy from the fire.
But where is the actor now that he has permanently left the ITV Dales? The Daily Star delves deeply into his life after Emmerdale, covering everything from his decision to learn to fly a plane to his friendship with his co-star.
Although Michael has spent the majority of his acting career going by the moniker Michael Praed, this isn’t his real name.
Michael David Prince, as he was then known, was born on April 1st, 1960 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.
He quickly learned, however, that the British performing union Equity already had a member with the same name on its roster, so he picked a name at random from the phone book to be more instantly recognizable.
Praed is actually Cornish for “meadow,” making it a fitting choice for the gently sloping fields of the Dales.
Life in Iran
While Michael was actually raised in Iran without access to television, despite being born in England. He admitted to spending entire days in the pool while describing living there to The Sun as “idyllic.”
“I spoke the language, and my pals ranged widely and ethnically, from Iranians to Americans, English speakers, and Dutch people,” he claimed.
“My parents’ mantle was loaded with cocktail party invitations, the ladies smoking and drinking gin and tonics in the afternoon while playing Mahjongg since they had nothing better to do.”
Later in life, Michael moved back to the UK where he enrolled at the boarding school Eastbourne College on the south coast.
Sadly, Michael’s first marriage did not last. He married Karen Landau in 1994, but they later divorced in 2009.
He is currently married to fellow actor Josefina Gabrielle, who is well-known for her work in the West End and talent as a former ballerina.
From the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Les Misérables, Josefina has starred in them all. She has even worked on a project with Michael.
The two starred in the political farce play Two Into One in 2014, with Michael as the dishonest MP Richard Willey and Josefina playing his mistress. However, everything was derailed by fumbling parliamentary aide George.
According to Michael, his fear of flying was “crippling,” so he decided to learn how to fly a plane in order to get over his anxiety.
“I took some lessons and it became clear that my fear wasn’t of flying, but of someone else being in control,” he told the publication. I so began studying aviation and became quite interested in it.
After the terror “took over his life,” the actor acknowledged that he was “extremely proud” of himself for completing his first solo flight in an airplane.
Michael does not just have a flair for flying aircraft; he also has a lovely singing voice.
He performed in a Three Musketeers musical on Broadway, but tragically it only ran for nine performances before it was permanently cancelled.
Michael has appeared in musicals like Carousel, Copacabana, and the holiday special Abbacadabra. He was even encouraged to try opera as a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He discussed the latter in an interview with BusinessLive, saying: “I suppose the book was conceived by the crew that did Les Miserables and Miss Saigon and it was their first time they had worked with Cameron Mackintosh, therefore it was successful in combining them.”
“I’ve seen Mamma Mia on television, but big stars were required for the movie. I have no doubt that I could have handled Pierce Brosnan’s role, but we play in different leagues when it comes to box office, and he is Premier.