George Perry

Author of:

Bette Davis - Larger Than Life, Bogie - A Celebration of the Life and Films of Humphrey Bogart, Jack Robinson on Show, James Dean, You Must Remember This - the Warner Bros. Story


George Perry was born in London in 1935, the second of two brothers. Their father was a civil servant and veteran of the Royal Flying Corps. Childhood was seriously disrupted in the Second World War which was spent mostly in London.

He was educated at Tiffin School, Kingston-upon-Thames and Trinity College, Cambridge where he worked for the undergraduate newspaper Varsity, eventually becoming editor. He then worked in advertising in Montreal, briefly as a writer for Illustrated Newspapers, then as a copywriter at J.Walter Thompson at a time when British commercial television was finding its feet. As writer he worked with a number of renowned feature-film directors including John Schlesinger, Guy Hamilton, Clive Donner, Joseph Losey and Richard Lester. He was then invited by Mark Boxer to join the newly-founded Sunday Times Magazine, eventually becoming senior editor.

In his years on the Magazine he worked closely with many great photographers on assignment, including Erich Hartmann, Eve Arnold, Don McCullin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Freson, Horst Baumann, Ernst Haas, Mary Ellen Mark, Terry O’Neill, Snowdon, Douglas Kirkland, Annie Leibovitz, Duffy, et al.

He has taken part in photographic seminars and conferences in UK and the US, has lectured on photographic journalism at the University of Minnesota and in the 1970s was a founding member of the Minneapolis Seminar on Visual Communication. He was also an examiner in photography at the London College of Printing and served on the committee that established a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography.

He organized the ambitious Sunday Times assignment for Arnold Newman to shoot The Great British and the subsequent portraits were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as well as being published in book form under his editorship.  

His many books include The Penguin Book of Comics, a history of strip cartoons; four photographic books on Cites in the Sixties (London, New York, Paris and San Francisco); biographies of Monty Python, Miss Bluebell, Rupert Bear and James Dean; histories of film studios (Pinewood, Ealing and Warner Bros.), The Complete Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard; studies of Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg, inter alia.

He has been films editor of The Sunday Times, film critic of Illustrated London News and Jazz FM. In the 1990s he was a presenter of the BBC’s Radio 2 Arts Programme, and wrote and presented many two-hour documentaries mostly on film-related themes. He was President of the London Critics’ Circle and has served on film festival juries in many countries around the world.

He lives close to Barnes Common, London and is in his 35th year of marriage to Frances. They have one son, now a film and theatre producer and writer for film and television.