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John Bentley (Actor)

farmerdave

master brummie
John Bentley (1916-2009) was born in Sparkhill and attended King Edwards Camp Hill Grammar School. He was an actor famous for appearing in 3 Paul Temple films (1948-1952), the TV jungle adventure series, African Patrol (1957), and as Hugh Mortimer in Crossroads in the 1970's. He played alongside Noele Gordon and they were married on-screen. In February 1960 he visited Birmingham with the specific intention on visiting Camp Hill. I have a press cutting which says, " the star of African Patrol on a Birmingham safari". He must have been at Camp Hill Grammar School in the late 1920s to early 1930s. In 1960, at the time of his visit, the school had moved four years earlier to Kings Heath. John Bentley decided to visit the new school in the slender hope that there might be some masters who still knew him. Two did remember him, Mr W. Drysdale and Mr. P. W Bates. They are shown in the attached picture, together with the new headmaster, Mr. A Cholmondeley. John Bentley died in 2009, aged 93, at Petworth in West Sussex.
P1010929 (2).JPG
 
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sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Thanks for that farmerdave. I've added him to the Theatrical & Musical Deaths Database here: https://www.msheppard.com - the penultimate item on the Online Database tab. I'm afraid there is not room for much detail, but it gives researchers a starting point.

Maurice
 

devonjim

master brummie
Remember the two school masters shown in your photo. Mr Drysdale taught English, I remember him reading Masefield as he walked up and down the aisles between the desks. He also umpired school cricket, would never give me lbw decisions when I bowled around the wicket( inspired by Jim Laker) Was never taught by Mr Bates, remember he insisted we wore our school ties outside the crew neck jumpers that were all the rage in 1950's.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
Hi Devonjim. I was taught mathematics for one year by Mr. Bates. It must have been in the fifth form, so 1958/9. I was never taught by Mr. Drysdale although I do remember him well. I believe he had been in the first world war and suffered some facial skin injuries due to being gassed. Best wishes. Dave.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi Dave,

Like you, I was there when all three masters were still at the school. Albert Cholmondeley joined as head just after the move to Kings Heath.
You probably remember that Bill Drysdale was well known for sloping off through the woods in the afternoon for a quick pint at the Red Lion.
'Polly' Bates got his nickname for his uncanny resemblance to a parrot when he was defying gravity perching on the edge of the Assembly
Hall platform! Happy days!

Kind regards

Dave
 

devonjim

master brummie
Was taken to the Red Lion for my first ever pint by a couple of members of staff, Messers Appleby and D I Thomas after a sixth form v Staff tennis match.
 

PatHayward

master brummie
I was at York Road School in Hall Green with Bill Drysdale's daughters Anne and Judith and I seem to remember that they both went on to Camp Hill around 1947/8.
Pat Hayward
 

JaneOz

Brummie babby
Born 1912 Sparkhill. Does anyone know how he eared his living before the 1940s when he became famous as an actor?
 

JaneOz

Brummie babby
John Bentley (1916-2009) was born in Sparkhill and attended King Edwards Camp Hill Grammar School. He was an actor famous for appearing in 3 Paul Temple films (1948-1952), the TV jungle adventure series, African Patrol (1957), and as Hugh Mortimer in Crossroads in the 1970's. He played alongside Noele Gordon and they were married on-screen. In February 1960 he visited Birmingham with the specific intention on visiting Camp Hill. I have a press cutting which says, " the star of African Patrol on a Birmingham safari". He must have been at Camp Hill Grammar School in the late 1920s to early 1930s. In 1960, at the time of his visit, the school had moved four years earlier to Kings Heath. John Bentley decided to visit the new school in the slender hope that there might be some masters who still knew him. Two did remember him, Mr W. Drysdale and Mr. P. W Bates. They are shown in the attached picture, together with the new headmaster, Mr. A Cholmondeley. John Bentley died in 2009, aged 93, at Petworth in West Sussex.
View attachment 93436
Hugh Mortimer. Wiki seems to indicate that he went into radio at the age of 16, but was born in 1916.
 

JaneOz

Brummie babby
Sorry Hugh if I haven't quite mastered this thread business but that doesn’t sound quite right, as things were very tough for most in The Midlands in the 1930s, and whilst getting into the entertainment industry might always have been young John’s aim it’s always been unreliable industry for putting bread on the table. Wikipedia says John lost his father at age 16, so that’s c1932 until his first film in 1940 to cover. Was there perhaps still a furniture shop in Sparkhill that his widowed mother and he ran called ‘Bentley’s’? (Perhaps called ‘John Bentley’s’ if his father had the same first name.)

 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
There was certainly a house furnishing shop named John Bentley & Co (from 1933 Kellys directory):
Bentley John & Co. Ltd. house furnishers, 14, 15 & 16 Deritend (T N Victoria 1842) & cabinet mkrs. 36 Stone yard, Deritend
But whether this was the same person I do not know
 
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