By Kathy Taylor
Actor, Billy Murray was born in Forest Gate in 1941 and grew up Upton Park, where his mum still lives. He went to St Edwards Primary and St. Bonaventures Secondary school.
Billy is better known to most of us as Dect. Sgt. Don Beech in "The Bill" and Johnny Allen in ‘EastEnders’. Billy went to the East 15 Drama School in Stratford, after which he went on to play leading roles in Rep for three years. His first film roles were ‘Two Left Feet’ (1963), ‘Poor Cow’ (1967), ‘Up The Junction’ (1968). He became a household name in the 1970s when appearing in numerous TV series such as 'Softly Softly' , ‘The Professionals’, ‘The Sweeney’, ‘Minder’ and ‘Casualty’.
From: ‘Inside Soap’ – an interview with Billy Murray:- “While I was still at school, I used to work down the market on Robins fruit and veg stall all day Saturday for ten bob. My first real job on leaving school was stacking shelves in a Co-Op supermarket. All I really wanted to do was to be a docker. The only way I could get in was to start work for the PLA as a messenger boy. But I hated it, so when I found out you could get sick pay, I went sick every chance I got. Then I got the sack – on my very last day before becoming a docker”.
He now lives near Brentwood in Essex. He supports West Ham United.