Johnny Lockwood

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Johnny Lockwood
Born(1920-12-07)7 December 1920
London, England, United Kingdom
Died25 April 2013(2013-04-25) (aged 92)
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
  • Actor
  • variety entertainer
  • comedian
Years active1934–2002
Spouse(s)Anne Lockwood (1947-1976), unknown spouse 1980-?

Johnny Lockwood (7 December 1920 – 25 April 2013[1]) was an English-born Australian variety entertainer, comedian and actor. He worked in radio, theatre, television and film. He became well known for his role in the Australian television soap opera Number 96 playing bumbling Hungarian Jewish deli proprietor Aldo Godolfus from 1972 until 1975.

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

Lockwood had always wanted to perform on stage. He was orphaned at age 11, and at 14 applied for a job as a dancer in a touring show. He continued to develop his talents and by 18 was given a contract by impresario Jack Hylton as a comedian.[2] He was a member of the charitable entertainment fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats.[3]

His entertainment career was briefly put on hold, as World War II intervened and Lockwood joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and was honourably discharged in 1944. Lockwood returned to performing, working in vaudeville, pantomime, radio and television. In 1949 he performed in the Royal Command Performance at the London Coliseum. During the performance he tripped and fell, suffering a bloody nose. His quip to the audience was "Well, they told me you wanted blood tonight" was widely reported by the press.[2]

Theatre[edit]

A prominent member of theatre, Lockwood came to Australia in 1957 for a ten-week run with the Tivoli Theatre circuit, however after that job finished he remained in Australia for five years. Returned to the UK to play Fagin in Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the New Theatre but once that run finished Lockwood followed his yearnings and returned permanently to Australia.[2]

Television[edit]

Lockwood spent a year with television series Sunnyside Up, went to the US to perform in Las Vegas, and returned to Australia for a two-year run with classic comedy series The Mavis Bramston Show, and then played the lead role in Canterbury Tales.[2] The role in Number 96 followed in 1972. Lockwood was an original cast member of the series, his character was specifically devised by writer David Sale, (whom also wrote for Bramston), as bumbling delicatessen proprietor Aldo Godolfus. Aldo, was originally conceived as a Greek emigrant, but the character was later changed to a Hungarian Jew to suit the actors dialect, his character soon wed, his deli employee Roma Lubinsky (Philippa Baker) and the duo were developed as comedy characters, that became highly recognised figures in the serial. Aldo and Roma were famously and later regretingly killed off in a dramatic revamp of the series – during "the infamous bomb blast storyline" – in September 1975.[4]

During the 1980s and 1990s Lockwood made guest appearances in Australian drama series and soap operas. In 1985, he appeared in soap opera Neighbours as Daphne Lawrence's grandfather, Harry Henderson. He guest starred in two 1991 episodes of soap opera E Street. During this period he also acted in feature films.

He had a short theatre run in a Queensland production in the early 1980s portraying Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

Film[edit]

In the early 2000s Lockwood continued to make television and film appearances including roles in Moulin Rouge! and miniseries The Potato Factory. He also continued stage work with the Sydney Theatre Company.

Personal life[edit]

Anne Lockwood, Johnny Lockwood's wife since 1947, died in Sydney in 1976. After Johnny had gone to bed one evening she died after suffering a heart attack and falling from the balcony of their high-rise apartment. Some people speculated that she had committed suicide, something Johnny angrily denied.[5]

Lockwood married again in 1980. His daughter Joanna Lockwood, born in Australia is an actress, best known for her long running role in television serial Cop Shop; she also appeared briefly in Number 96.

Lockwood celebrated his 90th birthday with a reunion of his "Number 96" cast mates, including Philippa Baker, who played his wife Roma in the series, along with Elisabeth Kirkby (Lucy Sutcliffe), James Elliott (Alf Sutcliffe) , Mike Dorsey and Wendy Blacklock (Mummy and Daddy), Frances Hargreaves (Marilyn MacDonald) and Jeff Kevin (Arnold Feather)[6].Lockwood, a performer of some 80 years, died on 25 April 2013 at a nursing home in Coffs Harbour, aged 92.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1967-1968 The Mavis Bramston Show Various characters
1969 The Life and Times of Reverent Shotte
1968 Anything Goes
1971 Spyforce Ruben Nathan
1972 Duffer Hippie Giutarist
1973 The Evil Touch
1972-1974 Number 96 Aldo Godulfus
1975 The Norman Gunston Show Checkout Chicks
1977 All at Sea Rev Parslow = George Parsons
1978 Tickled Pink Rabbi
1981 Bellamy Len Payne
1982 Kingswood Country Tony Bertolucci
1982 Norman Loves Rose Sam
1984 Stanley: Every Home Should Have One Flasher
1985-1986 Neighbours Harry Henderson
1987 A Country Practice Mickey O'Rourke
1991 E Street Johnny Little
2000 The Potato Factory Moses
2001 Moulin Rouge! Character Rake
2002 Short Cuts Hippy
2003 The Rage in Placid Lake Barber
2003 Pizza Insurance

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Number 96's 'Aldo' dies". 25 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Atterton, Margot. (Ed.) The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Australian Showbiz, Sunshine Books, 1984. ISBN 0-86777-057-0 p 137
  3. ^ "Biography of a Water Rat".
  4. ^ Craig Blake. "JOHNNY LOCKWOOD". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ George, Carol. The Saddest Clown. Scene. 2–8 October 1976, page 7.
  6. ^ "Number 96 together again".

External links[edit]