David Essex

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David Essex (born July 23, 1947) is a British actor and singer who has enjoyed a varied career.

Born in London, real name David Cook, he failed in his first attempts at stardom. His big break came when he was selected to play the lead in the musical Godspell in 1971. It took a couple of years for his career to take off, which it did with his appearance in the film That'll Be The Day (1973) and a major hit, "Rock On" (which he wrote himself), in the same year. A second single, "Lamplight," also reached the British Top 10, establishing him as a major U.K. celebrity.

In the '70s, Essex emerged as one of England's top performers. His biggest hits during this decade including a pair of No. 1 singles: "Gonna Make You a Star" (1974), a satirical look at his success, and "Hold Me Close" (1975), a cheerful sing-along. He also appeared in Stardust, a 1974 sequel to That'll Be The Day; the title song was another Top 10 hit. His British tours created scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania.

In 1978, Essex was Che in the original production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, and his recording of the show's "Oh What a Circus" reached No. 3. Two years later, he starred in the film Silver Dream Racer; the soundtrack song "Silver Dream Machine" was yet another Top 10 hit. In 1985, he wrote and starred as Fletcher Christian in the West End musical Mutiny! The show was based on the Mutiny on the Bounty story. The score produced two hit singles, including "Tahiti," his 10th Top 10 single in England.

Essex has continued to perform in all areas of show business, to varying degrees of success. A 1988 sitcom, "The River," achieved good ratings. In 1991, a compilation titled His Greatest Hits reached No. 13; a 1993 album, Cover Shot, peaked at No. 3. His autobiography, A Charmed Life, was published in 2002. It, too, became a bestseller.

In 1999, Essex was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He still tours England on a yearly basis and releases album through his Web site. Surprisingly, despite his long and thriving British career, he remains largely unknown in the United States. "Rock On" reached No. 5 in 1974, his only American hit.

External Link

Official David Essex Web Site (http://www.davidessex.com/)

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