Come Read This Diary
11 July 1958 (age 62) (
Michael Lester, Rita Keene Lester
Lisa Lester (m. 2006), Jane Lester (m. 1993–2005)
Oliver!, Melody, What the Peeper Saw, Run Wild - Run Free, The Prince and the Pauper
Jack Wild, Tracy Hyde, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed
Jack wild mark lester on wogan
Mark Lester (born Mark A. Letzer; 11 July 1958) is an English former child actor known for playing the title role in the 1968 musical film version of Oliver! and starring in a number of other British and European films of the 1960s and 1970s and in a number of television series.
- Jack wild mark lester on wogan
- Mark Lester Looks Back On Oliver His Friendship With Michael Jackson Studio 10
- Early life
- Career as child actor
- Adult life
Mark Lester Looks Back On 'Oliver!' & His Friendship With Michael Jackson | Studio 10
Lester was born in the city of Oxford, Oxfordshire, in southern England, to actress Rita Keene Lester and actor and producer Michael Lester (originally Michael Boris Letzer). His father was Jewish and his mother Anglican. Lester was educated at three independent schools: at Corona Theatre School in Ravenscourt Park in West London, followed by Tower House School, a boys' preparatory school near Richmond Park (also in West London), and at Halliford School in Shepperton in Surrey.
Career as child actor
Lester initially had supporting roles in several British television series, including The Human Jungle and Danger Man.
In 1964, at the age of six, Lester was cast in Robert Dhéry's film Allez France! (English title 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, Lester was cast in the title role in the film version of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver!. The multiple Academy Award-winning adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel co-starred Jack Wild, Ron Moody, Harry Secombe, Shani Wallis and Oliver Reed and was directed by Carol Reed. Since Lester could not sing, his singing was dubbed by Kathe Green, daughter of the film's music arranger Johnny Green. Lester became good friends with Wild during production of the film and their friendship continued after production, with Lester describing Wild as a "long lost brother".
These two child actors later reunited for Melody (1971), which depicted British schoolchildren in love. Tracy Hyde played the role of Melody in the film, which used music from the Bee Gees and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
In 1969, Lester received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a dysfunctional and withdrawn only child in Run Wild, Run Free, starring opposite John Mills, and then as a disturbed child in the first regular episode of Then Came Bronson. Lester's acting roles peaked as he starred in Eyewitness (1970), with Susan George, Night Hair Child with Britt Ekland, Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?, with Shelley Winters, Melody and a film version of Black Beauty (all 1971). After this period, his acting roles in the UK would begin to wane. 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 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 prize at the 25th Berlin International Film Festival.
Lester wrapped up his film career with the lead role in the all-star film Crossed Swords a.k.a. The Prince and the Pauper (1977), starring Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, George C. Scott, and Oliver Reed, who had played Bill Sikes in Oliver!.
After the poor reception of Crossed Swords, Lester gave up acting at the age of 19. He took his A Levels at the age of 28 and became an osteopath, studying at the British School of Osteopathy. In 1993, Lester opened the Carlton Clinic, an acupuncture clinic in Cheltenham.
Lester has four children with his first wife, whom he married in January 1993 and divorced in 2005. In 2006, he married Lisa, a psychiatric nurse.
He is a patron of the theatre charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.
Lester was a close friend of Michael Jackson and is godfather to Jackson's three children. In August 2009, after Jackson's death, Lester gave an interview to the British tabloid newspaper News of the World in which he claimed that he could be the biological father of Paris Katherine Jackson, the late singer's daughter. Lester claimed to have been a sperm donor for Jackson in 1996, and announced that he was willing to take a paternity test to determine whether he was the father. Brian Oxman, former lawyer for the Jackson family, rejected the claim in a television interview, stating, “The thing I always heard from Michael was that Michael was the father of these children, and I believe Michael."