John Levene

Mostly Credited As: John Levene
Sometimes Credited As: John Anthony Blake

Birth Name: John Anthony Blake
Date Of Birth: December 24, 1941 (Age 74)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

John Levene

Leaving home at 21, John Anthony Woods started off working in a tailors shop on Regents Street, London. He was inspired to become an actor when Telly Savalas, who at the time was working on "The Dirty Dozen", walked into the shop. Savalas commented they needed extras in the film, so John went to audition for the part of one of the men who beat up Charles Bronson’s character in a toilet but was turned away as he was not a union member.

John therefore joined an agency who employed extras. He had to change his name to John Levene to avoid confusion with another John Woods who was already registered with the union. He started off as a desk sergeant answering the telephone in Z Cars and appeared in two Doctor Who serials: firstly as a Cyberman extra in The Moonbase then as a Yeti extra in The Web of Fear. When it came to The Invasion, Levene was once again cast as a Cyberman extra but got the part of Benton after the original actor was sacked. In 1970’s The Ambassadors of Death, the character was promoted to Sergeant and became a regular over the next few years before being written out in The Android Invasion in 1975.

In 1977, Levene retired from acting and in the 1980s moved to America but has acted in one or two things since such as video drama Wartime (where he reprised his role as Benton). He does return to the UK at times to do signings/events and record DVD commentaries. So far he’s done:

Inferno Episodes 3 to 5
The Time Monster Episodes Two and Four
Invasion of the Dinosaurs Part Five [brief]

John is married to Jennifer Woods (formerly Jennifer Wegner) and is the father of two adult children from his previously marriage. He has done some voiceover work for Disney and The Queen Mary Hotel. Although John has done a little acting work in Hollywood, he is really a producer at heart and has produced celebrity charity shows and other events.

TV Appearances

Episode Cast Credits 

Beetleborgs (1996) 
  The Curse of Mums' Tomb 01x37: (Apr/03/1997) As Lord T.N. Crumpets 

Doctor Who (1963) (1963) 
  The Android Invasion, Part Four 13x16: (Dec/13/1975) As Sergeant Benton 
  The Android Invasion, Part Three 13x15: (Dec/06/1975) As Sergeant Benton 
  The Android Invasion, Part Two 13x14: (Nov/29/1975) As RSM Benton 
  Terror of the Zygons, Part Four 13x04: (Sep/20/1975) As Sergeant Benton 

The Growing Pains Of PC Penrose (1975) 
  The Peeper 01x02: (Sep/09/1975) As Motorist 

The Adventurer (UK) (1972) 
  I'll Get There Sometime 01x15: (Jan/11/1974) As Tony 

Whoops Baghdad (1973) 
  Genie of the Bottle 01x02: (Feb/01/1973) As Cassim 

Callan (1967) 
  I Never Wanted the Job 04x08: (Apr/19/1972) As Harold 

The Regiment (1972) 
  The Fortunes Of Peace 01x02: (Feb/28/1972) As Unknown 

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971) 
  The Affair of the Tortoise 01x10: (Nov/22/1971) As Policeman 

UFO (1970) 
  Close Up 01x11: (Dec/16/1970) As Interceptor Pilot, [Uncredited]

Softly, Softly (1966) 
  A Quantity Of Gelignite 04x21: (Jan/30/1969) As Youth 

Detective (1964) 
  Detective Chief Inspector Dew, Crime Of Passion 02x14: (Aug/11/1968) As Detective 

Z Cars (1962) 
  A Litte Bit Of Respect Part 2 06x58: (Sep/19/1967) As PC, [Uncredited]
  It's Easy Once You Know How Part 2 06x54: (Sep/05/1967) As PC, [Uncredited]
  It's Easy Once You Know How Part 1 06x53: (Sep/04/1967) As PC 
  First On The Scene Part 2 06x52: (Aug/29/1967) As Desk Constable 
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He played the only Doctor Who companion who never had a Christian name: Sergeant Benton. (Although in literary sources, they give him the name Sergeant John Benton.)

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