Elton Hayes on Radio and TV – in Films and then Farming

 

Elton Hayes must have wondered just how his film career had begun – it all happened by accident.  After the War, Elton appeared on BBC Radio with folk songs and children’s nursery rhymes plus his original material and that led to Walt Disney using his talents to locate and provide  sea shanties for his British made live action film ‘Treasure Island’

He must have impressed them because when Walt returned to England – to Denham Film Studios again – to film ‘The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men’ he again called on Elton to provide  the mediaeval songs.

This led to him getting a small part as Alan A Dale  – but as the planning went on Alan A Dale became one of the key characters in the film – being used to link many of the scenes musically – and so Elton Hayes was then a film star with a big part – a starring part – in this a very successful film on a Worldwide scale.

Elton Hayes with Walt Disney

ABOVE – Elton Hayes on the set – with Walt Disney and Richard Todd

Elton Hayes

 

ABOVE – a lavish and impressive studio set at Denham Film Studios for The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men 1952.

Here is Elton Hayes with James Robertson Justice and Michael Hordern.

Sadly Elton’s luck ran out after he was cast in 1954 in The Black Knight with Alan Ladd and Patricia Medina again made in England.  He appeared again as a minstrel singing one of the opening sequences and was due a bigger part. However one of the actors wore Elton’s costume in a fight sequence early in the film, where the actor was killed off. This meant that Elton’s part was effectively killed off too. 

The success of the Walt Disney ‘Robin Hood’ film – in which Elton had one of the leading roles as Alan A Dale – led to a nineteen-city tour of the USA and Canada, making 113 radio and TV appearances in 8 hectic weeks in 1952

 

He bought a 47-acre farm at Hartest, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and soon built up a prestigious herd of pedigree pigs. He now found time to return to his youthful hobby of horses.

Sadly a severe stroke in 1995 put an end to these activities and Elton had to give up his farm and move to live with friends at nearby Cockfield. With characteristic courage and determination he overcame many of the difficulties associated with the stroke but lost the brave battle he had with his final illness in 2001.

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