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Johnny Leeze

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Actor Johnny Leeze was born John Glen on 31st December 1941 in York. His working life from when he left school at the age of fifteen was as a gas flitter and plumber in the area around Rotherham where he moved to when he was thirteen. In his early twenties he won, almost by accident, a talent contest as a stand-up comedian and, loving the spotlight, worked in this profession at nights while remaining in his other occupation of a plumber by day. After some years he formed a duo with a vocalist on the club circuit called Geoff Lee but after one year Lee left the business to become a publican. Johnny continued alone and turned fully professional in 1972. Facing a lean year at first more work came in until 1976 when he was signed up by a leading agent in the North and started to get acting jobs. While continuing his club work, he graduated in the early 1980s towards speaking roles on television, appearing in Open All Hours and Play for Today and in July of 1982 he first appeared in Coronation Street as Mr Slater, a potential purchaser for No. 7. In 1983, he featured in Emmerdale Farm in a minor speaking role. Two years later he potentially hit the big time when he was cast as milkman Harry Clayton, head of the family who bought and moved into No. 11 Coronation Street in January 1985.

After several months it was agreed by everyone that, through no fault on the part of the actors, the family was not deemed to be a success and in September of the same year they were written out.

The next few years were quiet as regards television roles and Johnny concentrated on his club work but roles started to be offered again in programmes such as All Creatures Great and Small and Last of the Summer Wine. Eventually soap stardom did fall his way when he landed the role of Ned Glover in Emmerdale, a role he played for six years. Various other roles have come his way since then including a third role in Coronation Street as Weatherfield County FC manager Laurie Johnstone in January 2005.

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