John Levene

John Levene


12/24/1941, Salisbury, England, UK

Birth Name

John Anthony Woods


Also Known As

John Anthony Blake
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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • John Levene was presented with The Key to the City of Milwaukee in 1989 in appreciation of his impromptu visit to a fan-run convention.

    • According to the audio commentary on the Inferno DVD John Levene based his portrayal of a Primord on the Shakespearean version of Richard III, complete with hump and club foot.

    • Whilst working on a cruise ship John Levene contracted tuberculosis, but luckily had immediate treatment for the disease.

    • John Levene was injured on location of Doctor Who after falling badly whilst being hauled out of a truck's cab by a stuntman.

    • John Levene hosted the Pacific South-Western regional Emmy Awards in 2002.

    • John Levene has the dubious distinction of playing the only companion to The Doctor whose first name was never canonically confirmed during the original series run. It was finally established in the spin-off video, Wartime as John.

    • He was born John Anthony Woods, but when he went to sign on to Equity, the UK actors Union, all combinations of his birth name were already in use hence the choice of John Levene.

    • John Levene's first credited television role was in the final episode of Adam Adamant Lives!. Luckily this episode was one of only two from the second series that survived the BBC Archive clean out of the 1970s and can still be seen today.

    • Whilst still pursuing a career in acting, John Levene founded an audio visual company, Genesis Communications, for which he directed 45 productions.

    • John Levene has worked on numerous cruise ships as a comedian, singer and an emcee earning him the nickname 'Gentleman Johnny Bingo'.

    • On a visit to the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart went out of his way to greet John Levene, informing him he had been asked to do a Mythmakers video. The producers had shown Mr Stewart John's video as an introduction to the series. He was so impressed by John's performance that he requested a meeting.

    • John Levene reprised his role as Benton in a 1987 made-for-video feature called Wartime. Produced by Reeltime Pictures, this was the first independently made Doctor Who spin-off film.

    • John Levene 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. As he was not a union member he failed to get a part, but this got him interested in acting.

  • Quotes

    • John Levene: A quiet hero, always there when needed. Benton turned out to be the kind of man I always wished to be; lucky, sometimes funny and never forgets his past.

    • John Levene: Doctor Who exists because of its constant fight against evil, and most of all it engages the hearts and minds of people across the globe. Gosh, it makes me proud to have been Benton.

    • John Levene: [Director] Douglas Camfield spotted me and gave me a special walk-on part in a prestigious BBC2 production. He was so pleased with my effort that he used me many times. He had me in mind for Benton in Doctor Who, and the rest, as they say, is glorious history.

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