Payday Loans
Anthony Newley (1931-1999)

  1. Albert Finney, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1959. Now this is a surprise! The Warwick Films’ Cockney support sparrer (and sudden pop star) being offered Arthur Seaton, the tough Northern factory hand refusing to let the bastards to grind him down… Then again, exec producer Harry Saltzman had wanted Peter O’Toole. So anything is possible. And “Newberg” had, of course, just proved himself s a a dramatic force in the BBC’s 1958 Sammy TV play. (He later filmed it as The Small World of Sammy Lee, 1962). What’s more, it was Newley, himself, revealed the Seaton offer in an interview with UK writer Paul Goodhead… “If I hadn’t [refused] maybe the world would never have experienced the great roles from Finney and Michael Caine [as Alfie]. If I had taken them - and I am happy that I didn’t - then it would be fair to say that that the Newley career might have taken a different route.”
  2. Colin Blakely, The Hellions, 1961.   Forever among my few cherished idols, Newley had been a regular (delight) in the Warwick adventures produced by Irving Allen and Cubby Broccoli. They had now split (Cubby knew 007 had a film future, Allen didn’t even rate him for TV!) and Allen booked Newley for James Booth’s brother, part of the gun-happy Billings boys, in this South African-shot Western. But with his stage and disc triumphs, Tony was too big for character walk-ons. By 1963, he was co-writing the Goldfinger song for Cubby… and Shirley Bassey.

  3. Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone, 1961.   On the scratch card for Vivien Leigh’s Rome gigolo, Paolo di Leo, in Tennessee Williams’ favourite movie of his work (his sole novel, in fact) were… Frankie Avalon (!), John Cassavetes, James Darren, Fabian (!!), Ben Gazzara, George Hamilton, Jeffrey Hunter, and John Saxon. Oh, and “Newberg” - more talented than any of them, also more Hackney than Italiano.

  4. Tom Courtenay, Billy Liar, 1963.   Too busy trying to stop the world... with his stage musical, the brilliantly innovative Gurney Slade on TV and filming The Small World of Sammy Lee. “Over-worked, over-exposed, over-rated. I’ll never be an international star,” he told me in London. “I’m a theatrical nutcase, really. Like Orson Welles.”

  5. Tony Tanner, Stop The World - I Want To Get Off, 1966.
    He got off...! Newley told me many times how much he’d wanted to film his stage musical with “the company” while it was still on Broadway, “shooting 9-4, say, then doing the evening show for five weeks. Couldn’t give it away. Couldn’t give it away! Too special! And: Who does he think he is, wanting to direct!” When producer Bill Sargent came up with his Electronvision plan, Newley was back on Broadway in The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd and passed Littlechap to his West End successor. I’d spilt my blood in London and Broadway - all out of my system. Pity. I should’ve done it. But one can't go through life doing it.” (Oh no? He revived it on stage in 1989).

  6. Michael Caine, Alfie, 1966.   Nor Laurence Harvey, Terence Stamp... Newley turned it down, he told his future biographer Paul Goodhead, “because I thought the world had heard enough of lovable cockney gits and I didn’t want to keep doing the same things over and over, with just the names and scenery changed.” And Caine told me: “I’ve had every man in the world tell me he’s Alfie, from Ravi Shankar to the Chief of Customs at Taiwan. No doubt the film struck a chord with the guys. Even Otto Preminger said he’d never shout at Alfie - ‘because he's me’.”



  (Clic to enlarge)  

* Every swinging London star was offered  Alfie Jenks, the Cockney Casanova of 1965. James Booth,  Laurence Harvey, Terence Stamp... and the best of the bunch,  actor-singer-composer-director-innovator: Tony Newley.



  1. Aubrey Woods, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1970.    “Brickman and Newberg” (Leslie Bricusse and Newley) wrote the filmusical’s songs and score.   Including, of course, the key song: The Candy Man. Their mate, Sammy Davis, has a huge success with his version. But neither Tony or Sammy were allowed to play the character that sang it - Bill, the candy shop owner… They were, said director Mel Stuart, too famous to be running a candy store. And anyway, Sammy was “too kitschy”! The superstars were replaced by… but, of course, Aubrey Woods??? He sure didn’t sell many Candy Man records!



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