Guest Actor Biography
Page 106 of 127

   

Jon Rollason

Dr. Martin King, Mission to Montreal, Dead On Course and The Sell-Out

by Alan Hayes with David K. Smith

Jon Rollason was born in Birmingham, England in 1932. His appearance as Dr. Martin King in The Avengers in 1962 marked his first major prime-time television role, although he had featured as early as 1955 in the children's serial, The Children of the New Forest.

Rollason had a tough route to TV. Four years before his Avengers role, he was penniless. "I had auditioned for a small part in a West End play," he told TV Times magazine in November 1962. "I desperately needed the job for I had a wife and two children to support." He was told that he was too good for the role, and reluctantly he went to look for other work. The low point of his early career was playing Shakespeare in repertory theatre... "I played the dead Henry V who is carried on at the beginning of Henry VI," he said. However, Jon's persistence paid off and he eventually came to notice through appearances in Birmingham, Richmond, Farnham, Halifax, Morecambe, and London's famed Old Vic.

Shortly after his three Avengers episodes, Rollason won himself a long-running role on the soap opera Coronation Street. He would appear on this series as school games teacher, David Robbins, from 1963-1971. At one point his character shared lodgings with series legend, Ken Barlow. The soap connection continued beyond his Street days, when he exercised his writing talents on the deliciously dreadful series, Crossroads. To fans of Cult Television, though, his most memorable role has to be as the incredibly irritating journalist, Harold Chorley, in the classic Patrick Troughton era Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear (1967).

Aside from his television successes, Rollason was also a published author and playwright. He was also active in radio drama. Jon was involved in a prestigious 1960 broadcast, on BBC Radio's The Third Programme, when he played Pete in the world premiere performance of The Dwarfs, a work by the renowned Harold Pinter. During the time of The Avengers, he lived in Dulwich, with a country cottage in picturesque Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. He married wife Shirley in the 1950s; Daughter Kate was born in 1955, and son Saul 1958. He apparently has a passion for pottery!

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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