John Levene (real name John Anthony Woods) left home at the age of 21 and travelled to London. He was working in a men’s clothing store when he met Telly Savalas (who was making the film “The Dirty Dozen”) and he was inspired to become an actor. He joined an agency which provided walk-on actors. He had to change his name because every variation on it was being used by a member of the British actor’s union, Equity.
His physical stature at 6′ 2″ earned him the non-speaking role of a Cyberman in Doctor Who: The Invasion: Episode One (1968), but director Douglas Camfield gave him the role of Corporal Benton when the actor originally cast in the part was sacked. This was to become his best-known role and he played the part of Benton regularly in the series until 1975, when he was written out. In 1977, Levene quit acting and in the 1980s he moved to the USA.