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Drewe Henley

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Occupation  Actor
Role  Actor
Name  Drewe Henley
Children  Charley Henley

Born  1940Malvern, Worcestershire, England, UK
Spouse  Lyn Henley (m. 1983), Felicity Kendal (m. 1968–1979), Jacqueline Pearce (m. 1963–1967)
Movies  633 Squadron, Wuthering Heights
Similar People  Felicity Kendal, Michael Rudman, Jacqueline Pearce, Charley Henley, Geoffrey Kendal


Drewe Henley (born 1940) is a British actor. He had a variety of roles in film, television and theatre including as Red X-Wing Squadron Leader Garven Dreis in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. He retired from acting due to manic depression. He was married to Felicity Kendal, with whom he has a son.



Henley has appeared in a number of film, television and theatre productions. These included episodes of Z Cars, UFO, The Avengers and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and a three-week run of Henry V in 1968 in which he played the lead role.

He is best known for his role as X-Wing pilot "Red Leader" (Garven Dreis) in the 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, a role for which he was mistakenly credited as "Drewe Hemley". Henley used an American accent for the part; the role had limited physical movement as Henley's character remained in the cockpit for much of the film which Henley found difficult. Unlike many of the actors in A New Hope, Henley's performance was not dubbed in post-production. Henley interpreted his character as an experienced battle veteran and so opted to play him without any excitement in his voice. Director George Lucas disagreed with this so they compromised so that Red Leader would at first be formal but as the battle progressed become more excited.

The performance was Henley's final one on film, as he was diagnosed with manic depression shortly after completing his part and he retired from acting. When the Special Edition cut of A New Hope was released in 1997 it featured an additional scene of Henley in which he talked with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Biggs Darklighter (Garrick Hagon). Henley was pleased with the scene's addition, although his credit was not corrected.

Personal life

He was married to the actress Jacqueline Pearce for three and a half years from 1963 until they divorced. He married the actress Felicity Kendal in 1968 and they had one son, Charley, a special effects technician. They divorced in 1979 after he became manic depressive. According to an interview with Kendal in 2000, Henley is now a "former" manic depressive. Henley and his illness were discussed in her autobiography White Cargo. He and his current wife Lyn now run a bed and breakfast in Devon.


Drewe Henley Wikipedia