“ I guess I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be center stage.”, Nick Recalls. “I would stand before the class and entertain the other kids.  I thought I would be an actor or comedian and a began acquiring the skills I would need for that.” 
Nick’s father taught him stage make-up which ultimately would lead to a career in the movie industry. 
“We lived in my Grandparent’s house In Wembley, Middlesex, and I remember one day when a strange machine arrived and was positioned in the living room.  They explained to me it was a magic box that you watched things on.  It was a black and white television and that opened up the world of movies for me,” Nick explains. “I had been to the cinema before that. But we didn’t have much money. So those visits were not often. That TV brought into the house stars like Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, as well as heros I could act out like William Tell and the Cisco Kid. My imagination flourished.” 
A few years later Nick and his parents moved to nearby Kingsbury. When Nick’s father was home he would read classic sci-fi and fantasy stories to Nick.  
“It was a VERY artsy environment and I grew up with no expectation of living a normal life”. 
Eventually, Len used connections he had made whilst working on the movie OLIVER to open doors that lead Nick from teaching at drama school to making movies. But he died before he saw Nick achieve success in that field.
“I adored my dad and really wanted him to be proud of me. But he passed before STAR WARS or any of the other movies I became known for. He had a very gentle placid nature that inspired much of my philosophy of life.  I miss him to this day”.

The other half
Whilst recovering from cancer surgery in 2010, Nick wrote his first book WORDS & PICTURES.  He says that during that time he reflected more on the influence of his mother Doris.


Early days... 
When asked about his early influences, Nick   wrote at length about his actor father, Len Maley and how he inspired Nick’s early development.  Len was a kind and gentle man. An actor, a singer, a poet. He encouraged young Nick to be sensitive, artistic, expressive and imaginative. As a freelance worker in the entertainment industry, he also demonstrated that life could be lived without the security of “a proper job”.  
Nick grew up mixing with performers, back stage or watching numerous theatre shows. At 7 he knew the words to every song, every joke, and play acted for all the other kids at school.  ../YGquestions/questions/Entries/2009/8/15_how_I_came_to_the_entertainment_industry..html../YGquestions/questions/Entries/2009/8/15_how_I_came_to_the_entertainment_industry..html../YGquestions/questions/Entries/2009/8/15_how_I_came_to_the_entertainment_industry..htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2


Nick recalls...

“My mother was a bookkeeper.  About as far removed from being in show business as you can imagine.  She was very practical. She would say that she had been a dancer. But I never saw photos or any program to support that claim. She changed her name to Leslie and, whilst my father toured with theatre companies, It was mum who went to work like regular folks and brought home the cash that paid for food and clothes and other essentials. I think on that now and realize what a burden that was for her. But she was a strict woman and, as a kid, I really didn’t think she loved me at all.

Mum had a number of psychological issues. Our lives really revolved around her moods. She never let us forget how hard she worked for us. She would pick fights with my father constantly. Not over money as you might think. But over jealousy and wanting 100% of his attention. It was tough. I learned to manipulate situations to keep the peace and eventually her mood swings lead to controversial electro-shock therapy. 

Mum would continually belittle my abilities and achievements and I grew up thinking I was just a burden to her. I left home at 18. It was as early as I could. Later in life our relationship was somewhat estranged.”

“When my mother died in 2005, I flew to England to organize the funeral. When I was going through her stuff I found all the old family albums. it was a difficult, emotional, time as you would expect. It made me remember all the hurtful times. But with the perspective of an adult, I saw her role in my life with greater appreciation.

Those photos showed an affection that I had somehow missed as a child. I saw the countless birthday cakes she had made for me with extravagant themes and meticulous detail. I remembered all the costumes she sowed for me, (as we had no money for store bought outfits). There were LOTS of them. Cowboy, Indian, Pirate. Roman. And I suddenly remembered all those trips to zoos and museums. Stuff that broadened my mind and helped form the guy I am today.  Quite suddenly it was clear that she must loved me... but didn’t know how to display that until much later in life.

Now, when I examine my own motivations and relationships, I realize that much of my later actions follow a deep desire for love and appreciation that probably has it’s seed in my relationship with my mother. As a Head of Department making movies like KRULL and HIGHLANDER, my creativity had to be tempered by balancing the budget. Maybe that was my mother’s influence too.

In her later years she tried so hard to close the gap between us.  In preparing a eulogy for her, I finally came to peace with her.

Nick also credits one of his teachers with inspiring him to make a success of himself... but not in the way you might imagine.


official biography 
movie museum
Nick on Twitter

Star Wars Memoirs