John Levene

John Levene

Infobox actor
name = John Levene

imagesize = 150px
caption = John Levene in 1984
birthname = John Anthony Woods
birthdate = birth date|1941|12|24|df=y
birthplace = Salisbury, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
spouse =
occupation = actor

John Levene, (born 24 December, 1941) is an English actor. His most famous role was that of Sergeant Benton of UNIT on the television series "Doctor Who".

He was born John Anthony Woods in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

He was working in a men's clothing store on Regents Street in London when Telly Savalas encouraged him to sign up as an actor for "The Dirty Dozen". He failed to get a part, as he was not a union member, but this got him interested in acting. On joining Equity, he adopted the professional name John Levene to avoid confusion with another John Woods who was already registered with the union.

His first acting role was in the television series "Adam Adamant Lives!". Other television roles included episodes of "Callan" (1970), "The Adventurer" (1972), and the film "Go for a Take" (1972).

He made an uncredited appearance as a Cyberman in the 1967 Doctor Who serial "The Moonbase" and as a Yeti in "The Web of Fear" before making his first appearance as then-Corporal Benton in the "Doctor Who" serial "The Invasion" in 1968. "The Web of Fear" was, incidentally, the serial that introduced Benton's commanding officer Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT were featured heavily in early 1970s "Doctor Who", and the promoted Sergeant Benton also became a regular.

In 1977, following his final appearance on "Doctor Who", Levene gave up acting as a career to set up his own audio visual company, Genesis Communications, and has directed well over 45 audio visuals and live events for various clients including the Ford Motor Company, British Airways, KFC, Amway and Revlon.

He briefly returned to the role of Benton in the 1988 Reeltime Pictures video production "Wartime".

He has also worked as an entertainer on cruise liners and has now emigrated to the USA where he has returned to acting under the name John Anthony Blake. Blake is his mother's maiden name, and he had a much better relationship with her than with his father [Lyons, Steve and Chris Howarth, "The Good Soldier" "Doctor Who Magazine", #230, 27 September 1995, Marvel Comics UK Ltd., p. 44 (interview with Levene).] .

He is married and is the father of two from his previous marriage. His latest acting work was on an independent movie called "Cannibalistic". He has also acted on an episode of "Big Bad Beetleborgs", industrial videos, and has done some voice-over work for Disney and The Queen Mary Hotel, among others.


External links

*imdb name|id=0505244|name=John Levene

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