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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