What Has David Leon Done Since Vera, Where Does He Come From?

Profile summary of David Leon
  • Name: David Jeremy Leon
  • Date of birth: July 24, 1980
  • Age: 43
  • Place of birth: Newcastle, upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Nationality: English
  • Parents: Ann and Anthony Leon
  • Ethnicity: Jewish
  • Education: Dame Allen School, National Youth Theater
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Years active: 2002-present
  • Net Worth: N/A

David Leon is a UK-born actor, movie producer, and director best known for his starring role in the ITV detective series, Vera, and other productions like Lives of the Saints (2006) and Rocknrolla (2008). David seems to be quite prolific as an actor with a good number of movies and series under his belt. Also, the UK star is doing well in movie production.

David Leon has clocked 43 years of age

Born on the 24th of July 1980, David was called David Jeremy Leon but he prefers to go with David Leon as his stage name. The actor’s place of birth is recorded as Newcastle, England, where he grew up with his siblings. However, his ancestry is Jewish, thanks to his father’s bloodline.

David’s parents have been identified as Anthony Leon and Ann Leon – While Anthony earns a living as a staff of a power station, Ann formerly worked as a secretary.

Growing up in Newcastle, David Leon joined Dame Allen School and later went to the National Youth Theater. At some point in his career life, the blossoming actor had to leave drama school to shoot the movie, Alexander, alongside Oliver Stone in Morocco, reports say.

David was also interested in football as a young lad, he even played soccer for the Blackburn Rovers at a point but the lure of the movie industry was obviously stronger than sports.

He started as a media personality in 2002 

David Leon first worked for CITV as an on-air personality in 2002 before recording his acting debut as Tom Vale on the set of the Merseybeat TV series. The film, These Foolish Things marked the Newcastle native’s debut on the big screen in 2005 and he played a leading role. Strictly Confidential television series and Lives of the Saints cast him in different roles the same year, making inroads into other movie roles.

By 2007, the actor was already garnering media attention, thanks to his creative and unique skills in front of the camera. Needless to say, the movie producers were also watching. Soon, the BBC series entitled, The Wild West cast Leon as Billy the Kid, giving him more exposure. It came as no surprise that the rising star always had moviemakers on his trail, requesting him to be featured in their productions.

From acting, David Leon to movie production

At this point, David Leon’s interest was already shifting to behind-the-camera roles as the UK-born movie star was already making in-roads into movie productions as a director and producer. After he co-directed the short movie Father, David had the golden opportunity of co-directing the award-winning short movie Man and Boy in collaboration with Marcus McSweeney. In addition, he was featured in Mark Haddon’s theater play, Polar Bear.

David’s popularity spiraled to the peak in 2011 following his DS Joe Ashworth role on the set of Vera – one of the most-watched and widely popular ITV detective series. The actor shared the screen with movie greats like Brenda Blethyn until his exit in 2014.

In 2015, Orthodox became the first full-length film he completed as a moviemaker. The movie made it to film festivals, especially the BFI London Film Festival (58th edition).

He acted as Joe Ashworth in Vera

David Leon
David on the set of Vera – image source

David Leon’s debut appearance in Vera was recorded in 2011 as the sidekick, Joe Ashworth. Within a short while, he became the most reliable assistant for the lead actress, DCI Vera Stanhope (depicted by Brenda Blethyn). According to Blethyn her time onset with David Leon was awesome as they worked as a team in tackling difficult cases.

Thus, it was really hard for Blethyn to take David’s exit from the series in 2014 lightly. According to Blethyn, the series took a big blow from David’s decision to leave and even fans kept wondering why the actor had to leave.

The reason Leon left Vera

David Leon took a final bow from Vera after the fourth season and to facilitate his exit, the producers of the show relocated his character to another city. In answer to fans’ questions about his exit, reports soon surfaced with claims that David had to go in pursuit of other endeavors. It was around that time that he started producing the movie Orthodox which was making demands on his time.

David Leon was eventually replaced by Kenny Doughty who joined Vera as DS Aiden Healy. Kenny has been with the show since then and has been doing great.

What has he been doing since Vera?

David Leon
A scene in Vera – image source

Since he left Vera, David has been steadfast in his career paths as an actor, producer, and director. He immediately scored lead roles in the movies, The Dark as DI Adam Perrin, and The Refugees as Alex. He starred in BBC One’s six-part drama mini-series, Gold Digger.

It was after he left Vera that he started producing Orthodox – the TV drama miniseries on Netflix. The plot is quite interesting, featuring three Hasidic Jews who attempted to leave their ultra-Orthodox community. After David developed it into a full-length feature movie in 2015, Orthodox became a blockbuster and was listed in numerous film festivals. Below are David Leon’s movies and productions.

David Leon’s films and TV shows

Movie roles

  • 2004: Alexander as Hermolaous
  • 2005: Boy Eats Girl as Nathan
  • 2006: These Foolish Things as Robin Gardner
  • 2006: The Lives of the Saints as Othello
  • 2007: Clapham Junction as Alfie Cartwright (TV one-off Drama)
  • 2008: Love Me Still as Freddie
  • 2008: RocknRolla as Malcolm
  • 2012: The Glass House as Lajos
  • 2013: Walking with the Enemy
  • 2013: Grace and Danger as Cifaretto
  • 2014: The Refugees as Álex
  • 2017: In The Dark BBC TV Drama as DI Adam Perrin


  • 2010: Polar bear as Jesus

TV series

  • 2004–2005: Cutting It as Troy Gillespie (TV series) – 12 episodes
  • 2006: The Wild West as Billy the Kid (TV mini-series)
  • 2006: Strictly Confidential as Jeff (TV series) – 1 episode
  • 2010: Coming Up as Dan (TV series) – 1 episode
  • 2011–2014: Vera as DS Joe Ashworth (TV series) – 16 episodes (Series 1-4)
  • 2019: Gold Digger (TV series) as Kieran

As a director

  • 2009: Father (short) (co-director with Marcus McSweeney)
  • 2010: Man and Boy (short) (co-director with Marcus McSweeney) – Best narrative short, Tribeca Film Festival
  • 2012: Orthodox (short)
  • 2016: Orthodox (feature)
  • 2017: Vera

As a producer

  • 2009: Father (short)
  • 2010: Man and Boy (short)
  • 2012: Orthodox (short)
  • 2016: Orthodox (feature)

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Awards and nominations

  • Crime Thriller Awards, UK – Nominee – Dagger – 2014
  • Best Supporting Actor – Vera – 2011 – Tribeca Film Festival
  • Jury Award Winner, Best Narrative (Short)- Man and Boy (2010).

 David Leon’s personal life?

At his age, David Leon has never exchanged vows with any woman. Talking about his dating life, he has never been linked to any woman. However, this is not to say that the movie star lacks female admirers. Fans have since concluded that David has had romantic relationships in the past but is keeping the details under lock and key.

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