Johnny Lockwood

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Johnny Lockwood
Born (1920-12-07)7 December 1920
London, England, United Kingdom
Died 25 April 2013(2013-04-25) (aged 92)
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Actor, comedy performer
Spouse(s) Ann Lockwood (1947-1976)

Johnny Lockwood (7 December 1920 – 25 April 2013[1]) was an English-born Australian entertainer actor of theatre, television and film and also a comedy performer, possibly best known for his role in the 1970s Australian television soap opera and film version of Number 96, playing bumbling Hungarian Jew deli proprietor Aldo Godolfus.

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]

War years[edit]

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 performed in the Royal Command Performance held at the London Coliseum. During the performance he tripped and fell, suffering a bloody nose. His quip to the audience "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, 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. He played bumbling Jewish delicatessen proprietor Aldo Godolfus – he, along with his soon to be wife Roma (Phillipa Baker) were developed as comedy characters and became highly recognised figures. Aldo and Roma were killed off in a dramatic revamp of the series – the infamous bomb blast storyline – in September 1975.

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.[4]

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.

Death[edit]

Lockwood, a performer of 80 years, died on 25 April 2013 at a nursing home in Coffs Harbour, aged 92

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Number 96's 'Aldo' dies". 
  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. ^ George, Carol. The Saddest Clown. Scene. 2–8 October 1976, page 7.