Michael Crawford OBE (born 19 January 1942) is an English actor and singer. He has garnered great critical acclaim and won numerous awards during his career, which covers radio, television, film, and stagework on both London's West End and on Broadway in New York City.
With a career that spans over four decades, he is known both in and out of Britain for originating the title role in The Phantom of the Opera, as well as playing the hapless Frank Spencer in the popular 1970s British sitcom, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, which successfully earned him a place as a household name and made him famous to millions around the world.
Michael Crawford was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England as Michael Patrick Dumbell Smith. He was raised by his mother, Doris, and her parents, Montague and Edith Kathleen (née O'Keefe) Pike. His mother's first husband, who was not his biological father, Arthur Dumbell Smith, was killed during the Battle of Britain, less than a year after they married. Sixteen months after his death, Crawford was born, the result of a short-lived relationship, and given his mother's first husband's surname. During his early years, he divided his time between the army camp in Wiltshire, where he and his mother were living during the war, and the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, where he also lived with his mother and grandparents. However, at the end of the war in 1945, his mother was re-married to a grocer named Den Ingram in 1945 and they moved to London. There Crawford attended Oakfield Preparatory School, Dulwich, where he was known as Michael Ingram.