Site last updated: April 2020.
It is with profound sorrow that we must
announce Jay’s death on the 4th of April
due to complications arising from
a COVID-19 infection.
(If you would like to leave a message of condolence
in the Guest Book, we’ll be pleased to pass it on to
his family for you.)
11.4.51 (Burbank) – 4.4.20 (London)
Jay was born in California, but his family left the United States for Europe when he was a child. As a legacy of his itinerant childhood, he was English/French bilingual, and no slouch in Spanish and German, either. People meeting him in ‘real life’ were surprised that he sounded more English than American – but so would you if you’d lived in Europe for 50-odd years (some of them very odd indeed). This didn’t, however, prevent most casting agents from insisting that he played Americans – which he did happily and, not entirely surprisingly, like a native.
He’s probably best known in the UK today for his two appearances as John Kieffer – the US Army officer and friend of Christopher Foyle – in Foyle’s War, and as Doug Hamilton in Emmerale, but in his varied career he danced with the legendary Zizi Jeanmaire at Le Casino de Paris, played almost every male role in The Rocky Horror Show in the early 1970s (given half a chance, he’d probably have had a crack at the female ones, too …) and appeared frequently on stage in both straight drama and musical theatre.
His most recent theatre roles included Bill Wilson, Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous in a new play for the Outside Edge Theatre Company – One Day At A Time, David the critic in Steven Berkoff’s An Actor’s Lament, and Archie Bellows in The Trial of Jane Fonda, opposite Anne Archer.
He was also seen and heard regularly on film and TV. Apart from his Foyle’s War appearances, he provided the voice for Shiro Hagen in the cult Saturday morning science fiction show Star Fleet X-Bomber; played escapologist Alan Kalanak in the Jonathan Creek Christmas Special Satan’s Chimney; was Frank Crowe, Superintending Engineer on the Hoover Dam, in the BBC’s award-winning documentary series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, the obnoxious Yves Houdet in Andrew Davies’ superb adaptation of Angus Wilson’s Anglo Saxon Attitudes and, perhaps most notably, was third lead in Vicente Aranda’s beautiful 2003 adaptation of Prosper Mérimée’s novella Carmen. More recent appearances were as Judge John Jones in Nova’s award-winning Judgement Day: Intelligent design on Trial and – for a change – two Englishmen: Lord Melbourne in Channel 4’s Queen Victoria’s Men, the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, in David Hare’s thriller Page Eight. He also appeared as Colonel Dickford in Moonwalkers and Judge Kraner in the BBC political thriller series Undercover.
When not in front of the camera, he and his wife and partner Phoebe Scholdfield ran Sync or Swim, providing post-production ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) services to the film and television industry for series like Downton Abbey, Dickensian, Call the Midwife , Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands and Vikings.
In addition, his voice can be heard on a huge range of video games, documentaries and TV and radio adverts, as well as in innumerable lifts, theatre foyers and other public spaces. The irritatingly soothing voice requesting that you take your seat and switch off your mobile phone was quite probably him ….
CLICK > HERE < TO VIEW JAY’S SHOWREEL