A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
Jay was born in California, but his family left the United States for Europe when he was a child. As a legacy of his itinerant childhood, he is English/French bilingual, and no slouch in Spanish or German, either. If you want to aggravate him, tell him he doesn’t SOUND like an American – neither would you if you’d lived in Europe for 50-odd years (some of them very odd indeed). This doesn’t, however, prevent casting agents from insisting that he play Americans.
He’s probably best known today for his role as John Kieffer – the US Army officer and friend of Christopher Foyle – in Foyle’s War, but in his varied career he has danced with the legendary Zizi Jeanmaire at Le Casino de Paris, played almost every male role in The Rocky Horror Show in the early 1970s (given half a chance, he’d probably have had a crack at the female ones, too …) and has appeared frequently on stage in both straight drama and musical theatre. In June 2009 he played opposite Sharon Gless at a ‘table read’ of A Round Heeled Woman at the the Richmond Theatre and in November of this year will be playing Bill Wilson, Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous in a new play for the Outside Edge Theatre Company – One Day At A Time (see the NEWS page on Jay’s website for more information).
He’s also been seen (and heard) regularly on film and TV. He provided the voice for Shiro Hagen in the cult Saturday morning science fiction show Star Fleet X-Bomber; played escapologist Alan Kalanak in the Jonathan Creek Christmas Special Satan’s Chimney; was Frank Crowe, Superintending Engineer on the Hoover Dam, in the BBC’s award-winning documentary series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, the obnoxious Yves Houdet in Andrew Davies’ superb adaptation of Angus Wilson’s Anglo Saxon Attitudes and, perhaps most notably was third lead in Vicente Aranda’s beautiful 2003 adaptation of Prosper Mérimée’s novella Carmen. Most recently, he played Lord Melbourne in Channel 4’s Queen Victoria’s Men.
When not in front of the camera, he and his partner run ‘Sync or Swim’, providing post-production ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) services to the film and television industry. Recent projects have included The Tudors, The Golden Compass and Armando Iannucci’s first feature film, In the Loop. In addition, his voice can be heard on video games, documentaries and TV and radio adverts, as well as in innumerable lifts, theatre foyers and other public spaces. The irritatingly soothing voice requesting that you take your seat and switch off your mobile phone is quite probably him: so now you know who to blame.
Jay was one of our first ‘In Conversation with’ interviewees, accepted our invitation to stay, and can generally be relied on to raise at least a couple of censorious eyebrows.
Jay and his family divide their time between England and France, and when they aren’t actually resident, their beautiful manor house in Normandy is available to rent.
Vulpes Libris links:
In Conversation with: Jay Benedict
Review: Amin Zaoui’s Banquet of Lies.
Staying sane(ish) inside insanity – memories of The Rocky Horror Show.
The Most Unkindest Cut – Aliens, Star Wars and Star Fleet.
Review: The Red Album of Asbury Park.
Review: Dusty! Queen of the Postmods.
Review: Pimp – The Story of My Life.
TCG Artist Management Ltd – UK agents.
Just Voices – UK Voice-over agents.
Agence Elizabeth Simpson – French agents.
I wondered if you’d be interested in reviewing one of my WW 11 novels called “The Invisible Piper”; I thought you might be because my main character, a Spitfire pilot and his girl-friend, lived there.
I spent a long time researching for this book because I love history and writing. I gave up my lecturing job ten years ago, bought a flat in Hastings, enrolled on an M.A. in Creative Writing and wrote my new WW II novels there.
I’m sure you must know Hastings from having worked on Foyle’s War.
Anyway, you sound as if you’ve had an interesting life like me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I would love to read and review your book but not now!! I’m up to my eyeballs in work and can’t see myself emerging ’til sometime in March realistically. If I can slot it in before then I’ll let you know so if you can wait – Great!
I’m enjoying the re-runs of Foyle’s War on ITV 3 at the moment on Sunday nights… Have you been watching? I’m constantly impressed by its high production values and good acting and stories. Moving, too.
Let’s keep in touch,
Of course I’ll wait, Jay. Great to hear from you.
Hope your work and move go well.
I’m working on a number of projects at the moment so I’m very busy too. Letl me know when you have some time to step back into the past and I’ll send the book.
Always better to be busy, isn’t it?
Now back to my comic novel.
All the best
Ready to read your book now if you want.
Finished my 6 books for the Romantic novelist of the year Awards this coming Monday….So, over to you!
I didn’t hear from you about my book The Invisible Piper.
Can you contact me on writingunderwater’at’tiscali.co.uk please?
Linda M James
Is that the actual email address exactly how you’ve written it?
Replace ‘at’ with @ Jay … Linda wrote it like that to avoid being spammed …