profile of the actor and singer John Leyton
John Dudley Leyton was born on February 17 1935 at 'Corners', The Crescent, Frinton-on-Sea in Essex,
England. He started his
showbusiness career at the age of 18. John's mother, an actress
stage name was 'Babs Walters', and John's father, a theatre and cinema
owner had initially wanted John to join the family rope manufacturing
business instead of a career in showbusiness.
As John himself said in the 'Girl Television & Film Annual' 1963 published by Longacre Press "They
knew how difficult it was to get a start and as the family business
was in a flourishing condition they could not understand why I should
turn away from it." John did however join the family business for a
while, but later, decided to pursue a career in the acting profession.
John's national service days were spent
in the R.A.S.C. (Royal Army Service Corps) gaining as much knowledge as
he could about the intricacies of motor vehicles. After national
service John had various jobs, and also took a course of drama
lessons. John had a good singing voice, and did very convincing
Frankie Lane and Johnnie Ray, this led to auditions for cabaret. Later,
John was engaged for a season at London's Blue Angel Club, it was here
he met his future recording manager, the now legendary Joe Meek.
In 1959 John made his television acting
debut in The Invisible Man, then came his role as Ginger in Granada Television's series Biggles (1960), a series based on the books by W. E.
Johns. John also worked on Associated-Television's Tin Pan Alley Show. John's early career awards include: Double Award Winner 1961 (New Musical Express Poll), Best Disc of Year, and he was also voted Most Outstanding New Disc and TV
Personality in 1961
has a guest-starring role as Johnnie St. Cyr, in the ATV
West One, it is in this series, which ran
1963 that John, in character, sings Johnny
Remember Me. The song was a number-one hit, and remained at the
top of the charts for 4 weeks. The song was written by Geoff Goddard and
produced by Joe Meek.
Johnny Remember Me was Joe Meek's first independent number
one and was recorded at his studio at 304 Holloway Road, North
London. John Leyton's successful recording career continued, and
he went on to
have more chart hits thereafter, including two more songs
written by Geoff Goddard: Wild
Wind and Son,This
John's feature film credits include: The Great Escape
(1963) in which he plays Willie the Tunnel King, Guns
at Batasi (1964), Von Ryan's Express (1965), and Krakatoa,
East of Java, films in which his co-stars include-Steve McQueen,
Charles Bronson, Richard Attenborough, Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard,
Maximilian Schell and Jack Hawkins. John also stars in a 1965
comedy film entitled Every Day's A Holiday (1965).
John Leyton's television guest
include: Combat (U.S.
1965), Lost in Space (U.S. 1966) and Dixon of Dock Green (U.K.
BBC, 1974). John stars as Nicolas
Gage in the US television
Jerico (1966-1967). Jerico
is about a group of saboteurs
behind enemy lines during World War Two.
In the 1974
Granada Television series, The
Nearly Man, John stars as Brian
Griffin. John also stars In the 1980 HTV
revolves around the life of solicitor Gerald Parish (John Leyton), who needs somewhere to
live, and rents the ground floor of a large house owned by widow Mary Lampert (Janet Key). Gerald's father, Henry, (Raymond Huntley) decides to pay his
son a visit, so in order to impress, the 'down on his luck' solicitor
pretends that his landlady
and her children are 'his'
Today, John Leyton is as busy as ever,
recording, performing at concerts and touring. For comprehensive
up-to-date information about John, his career and current work, visit
John's website by clicking on the link below.
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