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John Levene

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:41

Rising in rank over the years in Doctor Who ...

 

Keen to become an actor even though he had no formal training, while working in a menswear shop John Levene found himself serving Telly Savalas and asked his advice.

Getting his Equity card he found every variation of his real name, John Anthony Woods, in use and chose his professional alternative after boxing promoter Harry Levene.

Best known as Sergeant Benton in Doctor Who, his first acting job on the series was in 1967 as one of the Cybermen in the adventure The Moonbase. A year later he played a Yeti in The Web of Fear before being cast as Benton in The Invasion. Between 1970 and 1975 he regularly appeared on the show, acting alongside first Jon Pertwee then Tom Baker, until UNIT was gradually phased out of the story-lines.

Having previously appeared as an Interceptor Pilot in UFO and a policeman in Z Cars, John made guest appearances in The Adventurer, Callan and Space: 1999 before returning as Benton in Reeltime Picture’s spin-off, Wartime.

He formed Genesis Communications, directing audio visual presentations and live events for clients such as British Airways and Revlon then after working as MC on cruise ships, relocated to America in the mid-1980s and took his mother’s maiden name to become John Anthony Blake.

Now producing celebrity charity shows and other events, as well as doing corporate voice-over work, John recently played Lord T.N. Crumpets in an episode of Big Bad Beetleborgs and appeared in the independent movie Cannibalistic.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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