About Mark lester, Career, Movies & life today.
Mark has just recently reprised his acting career as King Harold II in 1066 (2013) which is currently in pre-production. Mark is also making private & public appearances world wide at various theatres, events & signings around the globe. Please see Mark’s Appearance & News page to find out where he shall be appearing next! if you have any enquiries on booking Mark Lester for appearances please contact us via our contact page
Mark was born in the city of Oxford, in England, to actress Rita Keene Lester and actor / producer Michael Lester (Michael Boris Letzer).
Mark Lester was educated at three independent schools. Corona Theatre School in Ravenscourt Park in West London, followed by Tower house school, a boys’ preparatory school (also in West London), and at Halliford school in Shepperton in Surrey. Little did he know that he would take on the lead role in one of Britain’s most iconic movies of all time at Shepperton Studios, only 2 miles from the school. Mark initially had supporting roles in several British TV programmes , such as The Human Jungle and Danger Man.
In 1964, at the age of six, Mark was cast in Robert Dhery’s film “Allez France!” (The Counterfeit Constable) with Diana Dors (who appeared in the 1948 film version of Oliver Twist). He played a small part as the second schoolboy in Fahrenheit 451.
In 1967, at the age of eight, Mark was cast in the title role in the film version of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! . The multi Academy award-winning adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel which co-starred Jack wild as the Artful Dodger, Ron Moody as Fagin, Shani Wallis as Nancy and Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes. It also starred a young Kenneth Cranham, as well as baritone chart topper Harry Secombe as Mr Bumble. The film was directed by Sir Carol Reed. Since Mark could not sing, all of his singing in the movie was dubbed by Kathe Green daughter of the film’s music arranger Johnny Green. Mark & Jack wild were good friends throughout the making of the film and their friendship continued after the filming ended. Mark describes Jack as a “long lost brother”, which i’m sure you will all agree can be seen within the movie. When Jack Wild was nominated for an Academy Award for the film, they were both flown together to the USA for the awards ceremony.
Mark & Jack got the chance to work with each other again in 1971, when they later reunited for Melody (1971), which focused on British schoolchildren in love. Tracy Hyde played the role of Melody in the film, and featured the music of the Bee Gees, Bing Crosby, Stills , Nash & Young. Melody also reached international fame and has quite a cult following, particularly in America & Japan.
In 1969, Mark received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a dysfunctional and withdrawn only child in “Run Wild, Run Free”, starring alongside John Mills and then as a disturbed child in the first regular episode of “Then came Bronson”. Mark’s acting roles peaked as he starred in Eyewitness (1970), with Susan George, Night Hair Child (also called “What the peeper saw” with Bond Girl Britt Ekland, ”Whoever Slew Auntie Roo” with Shelley Winters, Melody with Jack Wild and a film version of Black Beauty which has all turned into a timeless family classic (all 1971). He extended his range with roles in a series of films in Italy including Redneck (1972) with Telly Savalas and the Western Scalawag (1973) with the legendary Kirk Douglas. The final film of his Italian-based career was in the costume drama “La Prima Volta Sull’erba” (English title The First Time on the Grass, 1974), which was nominated for the Golden Bear Award at the 25th Berlin International Film Festival. Mark wrapped up his British film career with the lead role in the all-star film Crossed Swords aka The Prince and Pauper (1977), starring Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, George C. Scott and reuniting with fellow “Oliver!” cast member Oliver Reed (Bill Sykes).
Mark was a close friend of Michael Jackson from 1982 until Jackson’s death in 2009, and Jackson chose him to be godfather to his children. Paris Katherine Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Junior & Prince Michael jackson II of whom he loves dearly. Michael Jackson was also god father to Mark’s 4 children.