British actor MICHAEL SHEARD has died following a battle with cancer. He was 65.

Sheard, who played ADMIRAL OZZEL in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Adolf Hitler five times, including in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, died yesterday (31AUG05) at his home on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England.

Sheard appeared in more than 40 feature films, working with SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER, David Niven, SIR Roger Moore and SIR Sean Connery.

He is best known in Britain for his role as MAURICE BRONSON, the teacher who terrorised his pupils in the long-running teen soap Grange Hill.

He is survived by his wife, ROS, and three children.