A Very Short Bio.
I started out in entertainment as a Choral Scholar at Eton College! My first professional 'gig' was to sing at Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, held in St.Paul's Cathedral in central London, February 1965!!!!
My first experience of appearing in many totally forgettable films in front of a film camera was on the British film for TV, ‘Quatermas and the Planet People’! We trudged across Black Park, near Pinewood Studios, with odd make-up patterns smeared on our faces and wearing even stranger blankets masquerading as ponchos!!! The totally forgettable ‘Breaking Glass’ – a punk film starring the singer Hazel O’Connor followed, as well as appearing naked in the communal showers of a young offenders’ detention center in the harrowing film ‘Scum’, starring an equally young Ray Winston (covering his 'bits') beside me! Oh, I appeared in some real 'doozies'!
Films of such dubious provenance sprang up all over the place and we all worked day in and day out on different productions each or every other day! Silver Dream Racer, An American Werewolf in London, Victor Victoria, Clash of the Titans, The Last Days of Pompeii, Ragtime … over the space of six years I did countless walk-on parts and occasionally larger roles in numerous films, big and small, and I used every trick in the book to avoid being identifiable on camera - by design!!! One of my favourite autobiographies of all time is ‘Shake Down The Stars’ by the Broadway and Hollywood actress, Yolande Donlan. Her narration of her hysterical rise from Walk-On to Star is told with vast humour and honesty, demonstrating admirably our common survival instinct to 'live another day under the lights'!!! But since the days of Star Wars, Ep. 6: Return of the Jedi, I have not willingly appeared on camera again. I made the conscious decision to work in Costume, behind camera, from then on. But there was a problem!!! There has always been a distrust of technicians who act and actors who work behind camera. We are, on both sides, mutually exclusive (apart from actor/director/producers – after all, who wants to argue with the boss?). So, my career as a film actor effectively ended and a new and more fulfilling career in film/TV/Theater costume started…
I had also been associated, from earlier days, with an agency which had dealt mainly with German tourism and I introduced Sheila (my agent) to Terry, a performer/manager of a touring banqueting company, whom I had met when he worked in a tourist-trap called The Beefeater near the Tower Of London. Their marriage (her second and his fifth) fortuitously consolidated two very different sources of work suddenly under one roof for me! All through my costume career in film and TV I maintained a happy and close relationship with that company and eventually took over the management, show-writing and performing, on an 'ad hoc' basis. I also functioned as an in-house designer and established a successful costume production department, producing quality clothes and props for theaters, ballet, opera, film and TV - and even for members of the Royal family.
As a company we toured the British Isles extensively, as well as the European military bases of the US Air Force, British Army and Royal Air Force - well over 3,000 appearances for our boys in uniform alone! With the passing of Sheila and Terry Denton de Gray, the company also had to be dissolved, but I retain masses of fond and funny memories of our years together and those who joined us in our adventures.
I still appear as King Henry VIII of England on occasion, as an after-dinner speaker and for corporate and civic hospitality bookings. I have also been featured in advertising campaigns in Great Britain.
My work in film and TV costume is best seen on the IMDB database at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0283404/
My agent for Henry VIII appearances is Susan Scott Lookalikes.
In 2010 I was inducted into the 501st Legion as an honorary member, an honour I am both proud of and honored by.
I am available for conventions and charity appearances direct via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact me button above.