Mark Wynter was born Terence Sidney Lewis on 29 January 1943 and decided to change his name when he began performing to lessen the confusion with the American comedian, Jerry Lewis.
Discovered singing in a dance hall in Peckham, London, Mark found himself with a Decca recording contract, enjoying his first success with Image of a Girl.
At the age of 18, he was the youngest singer chosen to compete to appear as the British representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. He entered the ‘Song for Europe’ contest with Dream Girl in 1961 but lost to The Allisons (who didn’t win at Eurovision anyway).
Exclusively Yours became Mark’s fourth UK Top 40 hit and his final one for Decca before moving to Pye where he scored the biggest hit of his career with Venus In Blue Jeans.
This was the closing track on his 1961 album, The Warmth Of Wynter that was released after his round the world tour ending up in Australia where he was virtually unknown but five weeks later left to a fanfare of acclamation and two records in their top ten.
On 8 April 1968, Wynter escaped from a burning Boeing 707 aircraft which exploded shortly after landing at Heathrow Airport, killing five people.
Moving to the theatre, he played the leading role in Conduct Unbecoming for more than a year at the Queen’s Theatre in London, and for six months in Australia. He appeared with Julia McKenzie in On the Twentieth Century, and in Charley’s Aunt. He also starred in Side By Side By Sondheim.
His other roles included the role of the King in a revival of The King and I, the title roles in Hans Andersen and Barnum, the 1986 revival of Charlie Girl with Cyd Charisse and Paul Nicholas in London, and the part of Robert Browning in Robert and Elizabeth.
During the 1990s Wynter spent two years in Cats and was also seen as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, and starred as Vittorio opposite Bonnie Langford in the 1998 West End revival of Sweet Charity. In 1994 he created the role of Van Helsing in the studio recording of the opera Nosferatu.
In 1981 he succeeded Peter Davison as the presenter of the children’s television series Once Upon a Time and presented shows on BBC Radio 2.