By KAY SEDGMER, Prime Times
FROM BROADWAY to Barnesville, the road he has traveled has taken numerous twists and turns...and he counts every one as an adventure.
Michael Cahill was born and raised in England. But once the travel bug bit him, he packed up his guitar and headed across the pond to America. And after taking his firsts step into the United States, he has been living the life he had only dreamed.
“I have played and written music, I stumbled into the life of an actor, I’ve met people you only see on screen and I’ve been happy,” said the 68-year-old who now calls Barnesville home. “I don’t like to brag...but I have been honored for the fun things I have done.”
Cahill, who is a rock musician at heart, appeared on Broadway in the 1970 Tony award winning play “Borstal Boy” and counts that experience among one of his fondest. He was presented a Tony for portraying Chewlips in the production which was staged at the famous Lyceum Theatre.
“I was just hanging out with some chaps when we were approached by the producer who was looking for some English guys for the production,” Cahill said. “I wasn’t really interested but after drinking the night away...I went in the next day. I didn’t do a bang-up job at the audition because, well, I just wasn’t feeling all that great but went back the next day and got the part.”
Over the years, he has appeared in countless productions, even appearing in four movies in what he called “bit” parts. He has been in numerous commercials and loves to tell about the 60-second spot that took forever to get on film.
“We shot one part of it in a large, famous hotel and every time the director would yell ‘action’ and the elevator doors would open a guest would get in the shot,” he said. “It seemed like that took forever.”
Cahill calls a number of famous folks among his friends.
“I have written songs for a number of people,” he said. “I still hear from Roger Whittaker. Al Pacino was just a young man when I met him. I’ve written one-liners for Rodney Dangerfield. Danny Kaye always told me the awards don’t mean anything even though he had over 200 for his work!”
Cahill said he was a very good friend of John Lennon’s and the two would hang out, drink a few beers and talk about England.
And, although his acting resume is impressive, he still remains the rock musician he was when it all began.
“I love music, performing, writing and playing my guitar. I am just a ‘music writer’ at heart,” he said.
“It’s my passion. I love to write and I like to perform. I have made 21 albums of my music.
But right now...my health is holding me back a wee bit.”
And, his health is the reason he is currently residing at Emerald Pointe Health and Rehab Center in Barnesville.
Cahill said within just the past year, he has been diagnosed with diabetes, neuropathy, asthma and a shoulder problem that has required extensive physical therapy.
“Within six months of being diagnosed...I went down hill quickly. Then I finally came here. This is the most fantastic place,” he says of his temporary home. “The staff is fantastic and the facility is top notch. The rooms are large. Plenty of room for me to enjoy. I would recommend Emerald Pointe to everyone. It’s like a four-star top-notch hotel.”
Cahill has been recuperating at the health and rehabilitation center for the past three weeks. He contributes his quick recovery to the attention he gets there and also to the rehabilitation programs offered.
“I couldn’t walk when I came here,” he said. “Today, I’m a new man! I’m doing so much better on the physical level.”
The staff contributes much of his success to his attitude.
“He is very active in his care,” said one of his nurses. “He makes it happen!”
And, although his plans call for an upcoming surgical procedure on a shoulder problem, he anticipates being back to his love of music soon.
“I have the words written for a song,” Cahill said. “As soon as I get back on my feet from the surgery I will write that music.”
Sedgmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
MICHAEL CAHILL, seated, has lived the life that most only enjoy in their dreams. He has appeared in Broadway plays, movies and numerous commercials. He writes music and has been the lead singer in rock bands. He has traveled the world. But a recent illness finds him recuperating at Emerald Pointe Health and Rehab in Barnesville. Some of the staff members at Emerald Pointe Health and Rehab Center in Barnesville have been instrumental in getting an award winning Broadway actor back on his feet following a recent illness. Pictured with Michael Cahill, seated, are Ken Dodd, Erica Plyes, Cassie Harbin, Stacey Wright, Reanna Burke and Jill Mamie.
T-L Photo/KAY SEDGMER