Drewe Henley

Drewe Henley
Drewe Henley
Born 1940
United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Spouse Jacqueline Pearce (1963 - 1967)
Felicity Kendall (1968 - 1979)
Lyn Henley (Unknown - present)

Drewe Henley (born 1940) is a British actor. He had a variety of roles in film, television and theatre including as Red X-Wing Squadron Leader Garven Dreis in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. He retired from acting due to manic depression, from which he has since recovered. He was married to Felicity Kendall, with whom he has a son.



Henley has appeared in a number of film, television and theatre productions. These included episodes of Z Cars, UFO, The Avengers and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and a three-week run of Henry V in 1968 in which he played the lead role.[1]

He is best known for his role as X-Wing pilot "Red Leader" (Garven Dreis) in the 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, a role for which he was mistakenly credited as "Drewe Hemley".[2][3] Henley used an American accent for the part; the role had limited physical movement as Henley's character remained in the cockpit for much of the film which Henley found difficult. Unlike many of the actors in A New Hope, Henley's performance was not dubbed in post-production. Henley interpreted his character as an experienced battle veteran and so opted to play him without any excitement in his voice. Director George Lucas disagreed with this so they compromised so that Red Leader would at first be formal but as the battle progressed become more excited.[3]

The performance was Henley's final one on film, as he was diagnosed with manic depression shortly after completing his part and he retired from acting.[3][4][5] When the Special Edition cut of A New Hope was released in 1997 it featured an additional scene of Henley in which he talked with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Biggs Darklighter (Garrick Hagon). Henley was pleased with the scene's addition, although his credit was not corrected.[3]

Personal life

He was married to the actress Jacqueline Pearce for three and a half years from 1963 until they divorced.[6] He married the actress Felicity Kendall in 1968 and they had one son, Charley, a special effects technician.[7][8] They divorced in 1979 after he became manic depressive.[9] According to an interview with Kendall in 2000, Henley is now a "former" manic depressive. Henley and his illness were discussed in her autobiography White Cargo.[4] He and his current wife Lyn now run a bed and breakfast in Devon.[10]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Curtains go up on illustrious careers". Nottingham Evening Post. 2009-07-29. 
  2. ^ "Dreis, Garven (Red Leader)". Star Wars.com. http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/redleader/index.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d Scott Chernoff (June 1998). "In the Star Wars Universe: Drewe Henley - Leader of the Pack". Star Wars Insider Issue 38. 
  4. ^ a b Maureen Paton (2000-10-01). The Sunday Times. It's the good life, second time around. 
  5. ^ Maureen Paton (2003-08-07). "'I never saw myself as a sex symbol'". The Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ Jacqueline Pearce (2009-07-19). "July 19, 2009 - Drewe". Jacqueline Pearce.com. http://www.jacquelinepearce.com/20090719drewe.html. Retrieved 2009-09-28. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Secrets of a good life". Western Daily Press. 2003-11-01. 
  8. ^ Simon Edge (2007-12-12). "Felicity Kendal - Botox, yoga and why I'm happier with my good life now that I've finally hit my 60s". The Express. 
  9. ^ Harriet Arkell. "Hellraiser's Crush On Wholesome Felicity". Evening Standard: p. 7. 
  10. ^ Rita Campden. "A Cottage Gem in Devon, England". Travel Scoop. p. 5. http://www.thetravelsociety.com/magazine/archive/vol21no4.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 

External links

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