Quentin Locke

Quentin W. Locke is an English method actor and self-styled aesthete, with numerous appearances on stage and in film.


Born in Putney, London, in 1955, his grandfather was one of a troupe of performers brought to England from Kenya in the 1920s. The young Locke was no stranger to the thespian lifestyle, his father having appeared on children's television with notable zookeepers throughout the 1960s.

Locke attended RADA, but left his course a year early, being offered a contract with the Timsbury Repertory Theatre. There he played a diversity of roles, from Tybalt and Prospero to Oscar Wilde and Eva Braun, and toured with the company extensively, until a disagreement over wardrobe sparked his resignation in 1976. The unemployed Locke spent the next twelve months undertaking occasional voiceover work for radio advertising, and even once, as finances dwindled, providing audio effects on the chimp-orientation movie, Prime Mate. He described this project in his first autobiography, Out Of My Tree, as 'artistically debilitating... like asking Vincent van Gogh to endorse Dulux.'

A Hollywood break came a year later when he was set to take a minor role as Garraway, an English bi-polar assassin, in a proposed fourth Dirty Harry movie The Apes of Wrath. Contractual issues with writers meant that the movie never saw the light of day, but the opportunity led to the athletic Locke being spotted and picked to body-double for Clyde the orangutan in Every Which Way But Loose.

Whilst on set he met veteran animal wrangler, Wal Hong, who became a close friend and confidante; Locke moved into Hong's Whitley Heights residence whilst relocating to the West Coast, and was subsequently hired as an independent advisor to animal teams on a number of high-profile movies including Greystoke and Gorillas In The Mist. Locke remains a staunch advocate for animal rights in the film industry to this day.

In 2012, Locke agreed to appear in The Tracy Boys' video, Marylebone, welcoming the exposure that the project gave him to a younger, digitally-aware audience. He has praised the producers' professionalism in directing chimp-flicks, and their understanding of the simian dramatic psyche.

Sometimes described as impetuous and melodramatic, Locke has a reputation for razor-sharp wit and repartee, is fluent in Swahili, and has claimed to have mastered over three thousand grunts in different African dialects. He has a keen interest in Thai cuisine, and is a major shareholder in the Hollywood-based Thai restaurant chain, All-Star Anise.

More from Quentin on Facebook