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Michael Palin

Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin steps into the larger-than-life world of Ernest Hemingway in a two-part series airing Wednesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 10, 2000 from 9 to 11 p.m. (Check local listings.)

Michael Palin (Host/Writer) established his reputation with the ever-popular "Monty Python's Flying Circus." More recently, the British actor has become known for his entertaining global adventures documented in three other award-winning, PBS series "Full Circle With Michael Palin," "Around The World In 80 Days" and "Pole To Pole."

Born in Sheffield, England, Palin first gained recognition in 1962 when he joined Brightside and Carbrook Co-Operative Society Players and won the Best Performing Gent Award at the Co-Op Drama Festival. At Oxford University, he wrote and performed comedy with Robert Hewsion, and for the university production of "Hang Down Your Head and Die." In 1964, he appeared with fellow Python member Terry Jones in the Oxford Revue at the Edinburgh Festival. Almost immediately upon graduation from Oxford, the satirist was snatched up by the BBC, where he wrote and appeared in several shows. In May 1969, Palin joined Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones for the first series of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," while continuing to work on other projects, including a BBC-TV play "Secrets," written with Jones. In 1977, Palin and Jones also wrote and starred in the BBC's "Ripping Yarns," an award-winning series of comedies.

Palin takes a break from adventure to enjoy the beauty of the Italian countryside.

With the Python crew, Palin moved on to big screen projects such as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "The Life of Brian." He has received critical acclaim for his work in such films as "The Missionary," "A Private Function," "Fierce Creatures" and "A Fish Called Wanda," which earned him the British Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to his novel "Hemingway's Chair," the book that inspired his latest television travels, Palin has written the companion books to his previous series. His other literary forays include "Dr. Fegg's Nasty Book of Knowledge," "Dr. Fegg's Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge" and the children's books "The Mirrorstone," "Cyril" and "The Dinner Party" and "Small Harry and the Toothache Pill."

Photo credit: © Basil Pao, 1999.