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Jon English
Jon English at Celebrate Australia.jpg
Jon English performing at Celebrate Australia! on Australia Day 2010.
Jonathan James English

(1949-03-26)26 March 1949
Died 9 March 2016(2016-03-09) (aged 66)
Cause of death Aortic aneurysm
Alma mater Cabramatta High School
Occupation Singer, actor, musician, songwriter
Years active 1970–2016
Known for Jesus Christ Superstar
"Turn the Page"
Against the Wind
"Six Ribbons"
The Pirates of Penzance
Spouse(s) Carmen Sora (1969-2006)
Children 4
Jon English singing at Royal Theatre, Canberra
Jon English singing at Royal Theatre, Canberra 2011

Jonathan James "Jon" English (26 March 1949 – 9 March 2016) was an English-born Australian singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He emigrated from England to Australia with his parents in 1961. He was an early vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Sebastian Hardie but left to take on the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian version of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972, which was broadcast on television.

English was also a noted solo singer; his Australian top twenty hit singles include "Turn the Page", "Hollywood Seven", "Words are Not Enough", "Six Ribbons" and "Hot Town".

English was acclaimed for his starring role in the 1978 Australian TV series Against the Wind – he won the TV Week Logie Award for 'Best New Talent in Australia'. He also co-wrote and performed the score with Mario Millo (ex-Sebastian Hardie). The series had international release, known as Mot alla vindar (1980) in Swedish, where "Six Ribbons" was released as a single, both single and the soundtrack album peaked at No.1 on the Norwegian charts; the first single, "Six Ribbons" and the album, peaked at No.4 on the Swedish charts.

From 1983 to 1985, English won four Mo Awards with three consecutive 'Entertainer of the Year' awards and a further 'Male Vocal Performer' in 1985. English has performed in Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore from 1984. Performances of Essgee Entertainment's productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan trilogy from 1994 to 1997 were broadcast on Australian TV. They were all released on VHS and subsequently on DVD.

In late February 2016, English was hospitalised due to "unexpected health problems" and he was forced to cancel several scheduled performances due to planned surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He died following post-operative complications late in the evening of 9 March 2016. A public memorial service commemorating his life was held at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney on the evening of Monday 4 April 2016. The memorial took the form of a tribute concert and included performances by the Foster Brothers, John Paul Young, Simon Gallaher and John Waters, among others.

English described himself as "passionate" supporter of the Australian rugby league team Parramatta Eels. He also supported the Fitzroy Football Club and launched his Some People album at Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne in May 1983 as a benefit for the club.


  • 1972 Jesus Christ Superstar TV broadcast, as self / Judas Iscariot, first TV appearance
  • 1975 Matlock Police one episode called "The Grass is Greener" of the TV police drama, as Quinlan, first TV acting role
  • 1978 Against the Wind 13 episode TV mini-series, as main character Jonathan Garrett
  • 1980 Touch and Go film, as Frank Butterfield, first film as leading male character
  • 1991–1993 All Together Now 101 episode TV series, as main character Bobby Rivers
  • 1994 The Pirates of Penzance TV broadcast of theatre performance, first of Gilbert and Sullivan trilogy from Essgee Entertainment
  • 1995 Frontline Himself, one episode, Let the Children Play
  • 2000 Pizza one episode of TV comedy series
  • 2000 Walk the Talk film, as Phil Wehner, last known film acting role
  • 2006 Countdown Spectacular as self/performer, last known TV appearance
  • 2008 Time Trackers children's television series, as Old Troy, last known TV acting role
  • 1972–75, 1979 – Jesus Christ Superstar 700+ performances as Judas Iscariot
  • 1974 The Bacchoi, Nimrod Theatre Company
  • 1984–86 The Pirates of Penzance as Pirate King, Victoria State Opera
  • 1987 Rasputin as Rasputin
  • 1988 Big River as Pap Finn
  • 1990 Paris (co-writer with David Mackay)
  • 1994 The Pirates of Penzance as Pirate King, Essgee Entertainment production
  • 1995–96 The Mikado as Pooh-Bah, Essgee Entertainment production
  • 1997 H.M.S. Pinafore as Dick Deadeye, Essgee Entertainment production
  • 1998 Noises Off
  • 1998–99 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as Pseudolus, Essgee Entertainment production
  • 2001 Are you being Served? as Mr. James "Dick" Lucas
  • 2004 Dad's Army as Sergeant Wilson
  • 2012 Jesus Christ Superstar as Pontius Pilate
  • 2013 Hairspray as Edna Turnblad, Packemin Productions
  • 2014 Spamalot as King Arthur, Harvest Rain Theatre Company


  • 1979 – TV Week Logie Award 'Best New Talent in Australia' for role in Against the Wind
  • 1979 – TV Week/Countdown Music Awards 'Most Popular Male Performer'
  • 1983 – Mo Awards 'Entertainer of the Year'
  • 1984 – Mo Awards 'Entertainer of the Year'
  • 1984 – Green Room Award for Male Actor in a Leading Role (Music Theatre) for role as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1985 – Mo Awards 'Entertainer of the Year' and 'Male Vocal Performer'
  • 1991 – ARIA Awards 'Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Recording' for Paris shared with David Mackay

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