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A Life in Showbiz

After a few years of ownership, Peabody’s first keeper, Noel Wilkin (an engineer) gave the Rolls to his wife, Greta Fayne, a musical comedy dancer/actress of some repute.

1921The earliest note of her appearance on the stage is in 1921 in a Charles B. Cochran production The League of Notions, starring alongside the beautiful, wealthy & scandalous Hungarian-American twins better known as the Dolly Sisters (protégés of G. Selfridge).

The League of Notions, ‘an inconsequential process of music, dance, and dramatic interlude,’ by John Murray Anderson and Augustus Barratt, with music by Augustus Barratt, opened at The Oxford Theatre, London 17th January, 1921 the successful show ran for over one year with 360 performances.

Greta Fayne Cigarette CardThe Cast of The League of Notions.
A.W. Baskcomb, Bert Coote, Clifford Morgan, George Hassell, Earl Leslie, Scott Leighton, George Rasely, Dorothy Warren, Rita Lee, Grace Cristie, Phyllis Harding, Phyllis Sellick, Greta Fayne, The Dolly Sisters, Helen and Josephine Trix.

Greta Fayne
In 1926 after just 5 years on the stage she was immortalised on the Murray cigarettes cards alongside fellow artistes such as Mary Pickford, Ivor Novello, Harold Lloyd & Norma Shearer and in 1927 her portrait was painted by Bernard Fleetwood-Walker & shown in the RBSA Spring Exhibition. As an actress she was well known within the entertainment world for her menagerie which included Billy, her pet Budgerigar! The only time off she took from the stage was between 1929 & 1935 in order to devote time to her son.

greta-fayne-dancing-timesIn due course her son, Jeremy Wilkin (born David Jeremy Wilkin, 6 June 1930, Byfleet, Surrey) himself took to the stage with his first London appearance as a singer in Henry VII, he later emigrated to Canada where his acting career continued both on the stage & Television.

Returning to Britain in the mid-1960s, Jeremy Wilkin provided the voice of Virgil Tracy for the second series of Thunderbirds following the departure of the character’s original voice actor, David Holliday, in 1965. In 1968 he provided the voice of Captain Ochre, the original Captain Black and many supporting characters for Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

He was also a recurring cast member for the live-action series UFO. Other Gerry Anderson credits include Joe 90 and The Secret Service. Wilkin had a live action lead role in 1965 in the fantasy TV series Undermind as Drew Heriot, a personnel manager inadvertently drawn into a sinister plot to control human minds and sow discord in society.

Forsyth in The Spy Who Loved MeFans of Doctor Who will remember his performance as Kellman in the 1975 serial Revenge of the Cybermen and also his appearance as the Federation agent Dev Tarrant in the first episode of Blake’s 7, “The Way Back”. Wilkin’s other TV credits include Dixon of Dock GreenMan in a SuitcaseNew Scotland YardSoftly, Softly: TaskforceThe New Avengers, and Reilly, Ace of Spies. And in 1977 he had a cameo appearance as Captain Forsyth in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Peabody remained under Jeremy Wilkin’s ownership until in 2004 he auctioned her in a car sale at Bonhams Auctioneers.

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