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Derek William RappBorn: Tue 11th April 1933 (age: 81)
Derek Martin was born in Bow East London, he enjoyed his education and left school with good grades. At the age of 15 his first job was as an apprentice to an Estate Agents and Surveyors, after this he worked in the construction industry, soft drinks advertising. Having found little fullfillment in any of these careers he joined the RAF at 18, becomming a 'snow drop' or RAF military police. He eventually left the RAF with the rank of corporal, he then worked in a wood veneer facility and a brewery - which being a teetotaller he found somewhat unfullfilling. He started working at Smithfield Meat Market and left for a very short lived career as a proffesional gambler, he returned to work at Smithfield and married for the first time. Derek then started a career in motor-racing, his ambition was to be world champion. He gave up on this career due to personal pressures and eventually divorced his first wife. It was also during this period he fell foul of the law and found himself in Court No 1 of the Old Baily. He was on charges of Recieving and Larceny, but was found to be not guilty by a Jury of his peers. After this he decided to turn his hand to acting (after the strength of his recent performance).
He went to a small coffee house in Old Compton Street Soho, which was frequented by a number of actors, he asked some of the actors who their agent was and after receiving a telephone number Derek rang them. He asked for an appointment and informed the agency that he had performed repertory theatre in a number of obscure towns, close to where he had been stationed in the RAF. His first job was as a walk on in a TV production. He caught the bug, left Smithfield and decided on the life of an actor. After a large number of small TV parts he then decided to become a Stuntman and worked on many different techniques, including horses, car crashing, fencing, fights and arranging action scenes.
During his career as a Stuntmen he avoided serious injuries and with the exception of a broken collar bone doing a horse fall in Elizabeth R. Three weeks after this accident he was back in the studio shooting another scene with his arm still in a Sling. He remarried and eventually had twin sons, David and Jonathan. By now Derek had recieved many offers of acting work he then decided to stop doing stuntwork and move into acting full time. He moved into acting and recieved his first big break in 1977 playing a leading character in the controversial drama series Law and Order, this put his name and face on the map.