Perry was born on 1st October 1951 in London to a French father and English mother. They named him Pierre Marcelin Bedenes.
His first professional engagement was after he went for an audition at the age of 11, without his parents knowing , for the replacement cast of The Sound of Music. After auditioning and getting the role of Kurt, an anxious producer was alarmed that an 11 year old boy was out in central London on his own, and his parents were not even aware that their child had taken himself off to central London to audition for a major West End show. His mother was telephoned and she came and picked him up and was given the news that the producers wanted to hire him. His mother was thrilled he had the role, but they had to convince his father for him to do it. Eventually he did.
His secret, lifelong dream - all of 12 years - to appear on stage came true on 1st October 1963. By law, in those days you had to be at least 12 to appear on stage. He says he had the best birthday ever, even if it was a little nerve racking. He had his hair dyed blond. He was supposed to be Austrian. and it looked very strange with his dark brown eyes and eyebrows, but back in 1963 Producers seemed to think all Austrians were blond. As he grew taller he took over the role of Friedrich, the older boy. The Sound of Music was at The Palace Theatre, London, to which he would return to 9 years later in Jesus Christ Superstar, initially as an Apostle, and soon after that he became one of the Priests. This production was directed by Jim Sharman and also included Richard O'Brien and Pamela Obermeyer (Transylvanian) in the cast.
This is the time Pierre became Perry. Around 1973 there was a knock at his door and it was the tax man coming for overdue payments. He could not pronounce his name and asked if Perry Beddeens was there, to which he answered "No one of that name here, sorry". His agent had asked him prior to this incident to change his name because casting directors saw Pierre Bedenes and were frightened that he would turn up in a beret and a string of onions over his shoulder for a typical English character. So to put an end to that, Perry Bedden was born!
During The Sound of Music, and making a substantial amount of money, his chaperone at the theatre suggested he should go to Stage School (drama school). This he did, and he was able to pay his own school fees. The school also acted as his agent and he was sent to auditions.
After the Australian Rocky, he had been doing Riff Raff for a total of 5 years - the longest ever Riff Raff to date. He began to go into a steep decline mentally through exhaustion of touring and he did not like being in the limelight this brought on 'stage fright', "It got to the point where I was terrified to go on stage", to the point he found, reluctantly, that he had to quit showbiz.
Back in London in 1983 he started up a successful decorating business and enjoyed that until A.I.D.S. raised its ugly head. A dear friend of his died and he was looking after him for the last 3 months of his life. This had a profound effect on him and he choose to become a 'Buddy' with an A.I.D.S organisation. Perry enjoyed this and looked into the possibility of becoming a full time carer, but unfortunately the pay was too low. A friend of his asked if he would like to go and see a friend of his, a gentleman who had a stroke, who was looking for a full time carer. This he did, and 7 years on he is still there. He tells me he looks after a very nice Dutch gentleman called Jacques.
About 18 months ago he started singing lessons. The bug had returned! His singing teacher asked where he wanted to go from here with his singing. He said he was just happy to sing, maybe in an ensemble and had no great plan to go solo. Perry tells me "I shy away from being in the spotlight. He just enjoyed singing and found a great teacher who could find Perry's true potential vocal capacity and range. He tells me he learns a great deal from the lessons. His singing teacher suggested he join the London Actors Equity Choir, which he did. The choir have made a charity recording called Eternity, and they have been asked to appear at The Royal Albert Hall for an awards ceremony this Christmas. They are singing 3 carols and he is very excited. "I feel like that 12 year old all those years ago". There is also talk of appearing on a Channel 4 TV special. All very exciting for him.
He loves New York and gets to see as many musicals as his budget would allow at $120 a ticket! He says he will only sit in the best seats as it is the only way to see a show. "Why sit way back or on an upper level when you can hardly see the actors". Perry tells me he gets a real buzz going to see a musical, and feels quite envious of the performers. As they say, "There's No Business Like Show Business". It is definitely a bug that stays with you
The latest thing Perry has achieved, with all else that is going on in his life, is that he has been on a year long Reflexology course and found out recently he passed his exam and now has a diploma. He wants to combine this into his other many activities and in time, maybe take it on full time. Time will tell.
So folks, where will life take Perry next?.....Watch this space!