John Clive was John Lennon in Yellow Submarine

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John Clive

John Clive

Actor John Clive, the voice of John Lennon in the 1968 Bea­t­les car­toon movie Yel­low Sub­ma­rine, died after a short ill­ness, his fam­ily said Mon­day. He was 79.

The star of such movies at A Clock­work Orange, The Pink Pan­ther Strikes Again and the orig­i­nal 1969 ver­sion of The Ital­ian Job, he became an inter­na­tional best-selling author.

The deci­sion to cast Clive as Lennon was con­tro­ver­sially kept quiet after the Bea­t­les opted against pro­vid­ing their own voices in all but the live-action finale to Yel­low Sub­ma­rine.

Born in North Lon­don on Jan­u­ary 6, 1933, Clive appeared in over a hun­dred film and TV per­for­mances. Leg­endary film critic Dylis Pow­ell picked up on him early in his career as the unc­tu­ous, ritzy car man­ager, divest­ing Michael Caine of some of his ill-gotten gains in The Ital­ian Job.

Other films included A Clock­work Orange. He was in Carry On Abroad.

On TV, he appeared notably in Wear a Very Big Hat, directed by Ken Loach, and in The Sweeney and Ris­ing Damp twice. Then he starred in the comedy-drama series Per­ils of Pen­dragon for BBC TV. Then he took the lead as Pro­fes­sor Som­merby in the children’s series Roberts Robots for ITV.

More tele­vi­sion series fol­lowed. He played the Barry Fitzger­ald part in How Green Was My Val­ley for BBC TV. He then did another series, The Gov­ern­ment Inspec­tor, again for BBC TV.

He was Hinks in The His­tory of Mr Polly and the Rev­erend Boon in Tropic for ATV.

He played Mr Dumby in Lady Windermere’s Fan for BBC TV and more recently appeared in Casu­alty and Young Indi­ana Jones. He was in the award-winning com­edy series Ten Per­centers. He also did a fea­ture film, RPM, directed by Ian Sharp.

But there was another side of his work that wasn’t often connected.

His comic tal­ent as a char­ac­ter actor was unusual in that it con­trasted sharply with his tal­ent as a writer. He wrote the inter­na­tional best-seller KG200 and such other fact-based fic­tion as as The Last Lib­er­a­tor, Barossa and Bro­ken Wings.

Clive lived in Spain and in Lon­don with his wife Bry­ony. She is Cana­dian and they met in a play. In the play, he was a psy­chi­a­trist and she was one of his patients, who believed she was Mar­lene Diet­rich. At the end, they were sup­posed to fall in love. And that is where fic­tion became reality.

John Clive is sur­vived by a son, Alexan­der, and a daugh­ter, Han­nah, from his pre­vi­ous mar­riage. Bry­ony has a son, Deane, from hers.

Geof­frey Hughes, the voice of Paul McCart­ney in Yel­low Sub­ma­rine, died July 27 at 68.

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