Jack Hedley Biography
Jack Hedley, born Jack Snowdon Hawkins in London in 1929, had an adventurous early life before finding success as an actor. His mother was a young single mother, and he never knew his father. Despite this, he excelled academically, winning multiple scholarships to attend prestigious schools and eventually earning a degree in history in just 18 months.
After leaving school, Jack Hedley became a Royal Marine Commando and served in several countries, including Malaya, India, the East Indies, Australia, and Korea. He rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant but was eventually forced to leave the military after sustaining an injury.
Not sure what to do with his life, Jack Hedley stumbled upon RADA drama school by chance and decided to give acting a try. He quickly found success, landing his first acting job the day after he left RADA.
Hedley’s screen career began in the late 1950s, and he appeared in several British films and television shows, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Colditz (1972-74). He also played the lead role in Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper (1982).
One of his most notable roles was in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981), where he played Sir Timothy Havelock the father of Bond girl Melina Havelock. Hedley also voiced the family parrot in the film.
Jack Hedley was not afraid to speak his mind, and he often expressed his disdain for other actors. He retired from acting relatively early, citing the allure of wealth and travel as more enticing than the urge to perform.
In his later years, Hedley gained popularity in Germany through a comical After Eight Mints advert that ran for five years and provided him with a steady income.
Jack Hedley passed away on December 11, 2021, at the age of 92, after a brief illness. Despite his unconventional path to acting, he left behind a lasting legacy in the film and television industry.