Essex, David 1947-

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Essex, David 1947-


Original name, David Albert Cook; born July 23, 1947, in Plaistow, London, England; son of Albert and Doris Cook; married Maureen Neal; children: one son, one daughter. Education: Attended Shipman Secondary School and Custom House. Avocational Interests: Motorcycling, cricket, squash, flying helicopters.


Actor, singer, and composer. Began as a singer and drummer in London, 1967; performed as drummer with the band Everons. Voluntary Service Overseas, volunteer in Africa for more than two years, currently member of council; appeared with Comic Relief in Africa, 1996; Gypsy Council, patron; Save the Children Funds, past president of Roundabout Club and Act Club. Also worked as apprentice electrical engineer.


Stanstead Park Cricket Club (president).

Awards, Honors:

Variety Club Award, most promising newcomer, Variety Club of Great Britain, 1973, and Film Award nomination, best newcomer, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1974, both for That'll Be the Day; Grammy Award nomination, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1974, for "Rock On"; Daily Mirror poll awards, best male singer and outstanding music personality, 1976; Variety Club Award (with others), show business personality of the year, 1978; award from American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, 1989; decorated officer, Order of the British Empire, 1999; numerous gold and silver albums, Recording Industry Association of America.


Stage Appearances:

The Magic Carpet, Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England, 1968.

Ten Years Hard, Mayfair Theatre, London, 1970.

Jesus Christ, Godspell, Roundhouse Theatre, London, 1971, then Wyndham's Theatre, London, 1972.

Che Guevara, Evita, Prince Edward Theatre, London, 1978.

Lord Byron, Childe Byron, Young Vic Theatre, London, 1985.

Fletcher Christian, Mutiny!, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1985.

Tony Lumpkin, She Stoops to Conquer, Queen's Theatre, London, 1994.

Robinson Crusoe, King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1996, then Richmond, England, 1997, later New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, 1998.

Made stage debut as Matt, The Fantasticks, Festival Hall, Paignton, England; also appeared in his own variety revue, Palladium Theatre, London, 1973.

Major Tours:

Duke of Durham, Oh, Kay!, British cities, 1968.

Also toured with repertory groups in London; toured worldwide in a music act.

Film Appearances:

Beatnik, Smashing Time, 1967.

Man in chemist shop, Assault (also known as The Creepers, In the Devil's Garden, Satan's Playthings, and Tower of Terror), British Lion, 1971.

All Coppers Are, British Lion, 1971.

Page, Carry on Henry (also known as Carry on Henry VIII and Carry on Henry or Mind My Chopper!), 1971.

Jim McLaine, That'll Be the Day, British Lion, 1973, released in the United States as Stardust, Columbia, 1974.

Passenger, The Big Bus, 1976.

Nick Freeman, Silver Dream Racer, British Lion, 1979.

Rece do gory (also known as Hands Up! and Haut les mains), 1981.

Don Pedro, Journey of Honor (released in England as Shogun Mayeda and Shogun Warrior), Mayeda Productions, 1991.

Television Appearances; Series:

The David Essex Show, BBC, 1977.

The David Essex Showcase, 1982.

Davey Jackson, The River, BBC-1, 1988.

Television Appearances; Specials:

The Royal Variety Performance 1989, ITV, 1989.

A Broadway Christmas, Showtime, 1990.

10 Years of Heartbeat, ITV, 2002.

The 100 Greatest Musicals, Channel 4, 2003.

Bring BackThe Christmas Number One, 2005.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

The Five O'Clock Club, 1966.

Set 'em Up Joe, 1969.

"That's Christmas Sez Les!," Sez Les, 1973.

Top of the Pops (also known as All New Top of the Pops and TOTP), BBC, 1973 and 1974.

Twiggy, BBC, 1975.

"David Essex," On the Road, 1979.

Friday Night, Saturday Morning, 1980.

Get Set for Summer (also known as Get Set), 1981.

"1982 Christmas Special," The Two Ronnies, BBC, 1982.

"Christmas Special," Pop Quiz, BBC, 1982.

Aspel & Company, ITV, 1985.

"Ping-Pong," No 73, 1985.

Surprise Surprise!, 1993, 1997.

Live & Kicking, 1994.

Barrymore, 1997.

Noel's House Party, 1997.

The Frank Skinner Show, 1999.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 1999.

Winton's Wonderland, 1999.

Johnny Lee, "The Traveller," Heartbeat, 2000.

Live Talk, 2000.

Liguid News, BBC, 2001.

Kelly, ITV, 2002.

Today with Des and Mel, ITV, 2003, 2004.

Loose Women, ITV, 2003, 2004.

Guest panelist, The Wright Stuff, 2005.

"Pop and Easy Listening," The Story of Light Entertainment, BBC2, 2006.

"Song and Dance," The Best of the Royal Variety, ITV, 2006.

Also appeared on variety shows, including A.M. America, American Bandstand, The Cher Show, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, Merv Griffin, and Midnight Special, as well as numerous shows in England, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Australia, and Japan.



Rock On (includes the single, "Rock On"), Columbia, 1974.

David Essex, Columbia, 1974.

All the Fun of the Fair, Columbia, 1975.

Out on the Street, 1976.

On Stage, 1976.

On Tour, 1976.

Gold and Ivory, 1977.

(With others) War of the Worlds, 1978.

(With Cat Stevens) From Alpha to Omega, 1978.

Silver Dream Racer (soundtrack), 1979.

Imperial Wizard, 1979.

The David Essex Album, 1979.

Hold Me Close, 1979.

Hot Love, 1980.

Collection, Griffin, 1980.

Be Bop the Future, 1981.

Stage Struck, 1982.

The Very Best of David Essex, 1982.

The Whisper, 1983.

Mutiny, 1983.

This One's for You, 1984.

Centre Stage, 1986.

Touching the Ghost, 1989.

David Essex—His Greatest Hits, Polygram, 1992.

Cover Shot, Polygram, 1993.

Collection, Griffin, 1994.

Back to Back, Polygram, 1994.

Living in England, Cleveland International, 1995.

Missing You, Polygram, 1995.

Showstoppers, Music Special Deluxe, 1996.

Best of David Essex, Sony International, 1997.

A Night at the Movies, Phonogram, 1997.

You're in My Heart, 1997.

Here We Are All Together, 1998.

Collection, Spectrum, 1998.

I Still Believe, Lamplight, 1999.

Everlasting Love, 1999.

The Very Best of David Essex, Polygram, 1999.

Thank You, 2000.

At the Movies, 2000.

All the Fun of the Fair/Gold & Ivory, Diablo, 2004.

David Essex/Out on the Street, Diablo, 2004.

Rock On/On Tour, Diablo, 2004.

Rock On, Collectables, 2004.

Complete Collection, Spectrum, 2005.

Spotlight on David Essex, Mercury, 2005.

Greatest Hits, Sony/BMG, 2006.

Silver Collection, 2007.

Other albums include the cast recording Mutiny!, Telstar; and Under Different Skies. Singles include "Gonna Make You a Star," 1974; "Hold Me Close," 1979; "Lamplight," "Oh, What a Circus," "Rollin' Stone," "Tahiti," and "A Winter's Tale."


Che, Lyrics by Tim Rice (also known as The Lyrics of Tim Rice), 1985.

Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Premiere Collection Encore, 1992.

David Essex: A Video Collection, c. 2000.


Stage Composer:

Mutiny!, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1985.

Robinson Crusoe, King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1996, then Richmond, England, 1997, later New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, 1998.

Composer of the score for a ballet based on Beauty and the Beast (libretto by David Wood), performed on ice by Russian All Stars Company, 1995-96.

Film Composer:

"Rock On," That'll Be the Day, 1974.

Songs, "I Think I'll Always Love You" and "Looking for Someone," Silver Dream Racer, British Lion, 1979.

"Rock On," Dream a Little Dream, 1989.

"Rock On," Car Trouble, Darlin', 1994.

Song, "Rock On," Dick, 1999.

"Rock On," For Earth Below, 2002.

"Rock On," The Devil's Rejects, Imagem, 2005.

"Hold Me Close," The Long Weekend, Lionsgate, 2005.

Television Series:

American High, PBS, Fox, 2000.

"Rock On," The Sopranos, HBO, 2007.



Official David Essex Site,, July 12, 2001.