Where’s David Leon From and What Is He Up To Since Vera?

David Leon
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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: NA

Being in the English movie and entertainment industry for over a decade means David Leon needs no introduction. Nonetheless, for non-fans, Leon is an actor, film director, and producer. The movie star rose further into prominence after starring in the popular ITV detective series Vera, in addition to featuring in blockbuster movies like Lives of the Saints, and Rocknrolla in 2006 and 2008 respectively. This swiftly heightened his growing popularity and relevance. He has so far, starred in quite a number of movies, and TV series. He is also credited for producing a host of short films before he later produced his debut full-length, feature film Orthodox in 2015.

How old is David Leon and where was he born?

The multi-talented movie actor, director, and producer was born on July 24, 1980. Bearing the full name David Jeremy Leon, he was born in Newcastle, England, to parents Ann and Anthony Leon. David also has an ancestry of Jewish, owing to his paternity. His father worked in a power station, whereas his mother used to be a secretary. David was raised along with his siblings at Tyne, in Newcastle, where he attended Dame Allen School, before later graduating from the National Youth Theater. Although findings showed that at some point, David dropped out of a drama school, to shoot a film with Oliver Stone in Morocco, titled Alexander.

Also, while growing up, David had a love for sports, particularly football, as he once played for the Blackburn Rovers. Nevertheless, his main passion lies in acting and movie production, which he relentlessly pursued until he achieved stardom.

His career began in 2002 as a media personality and he debuted as a professional actor in 2003

It goes without saying that David Leon has come a long way in his career. The earlier history of his career in front of the camera can be traced back to 2002, when he started as an on-air personality, working with CITV. He made his acting debut in the Merseybeat TV series as Tom Vale.

In 2005, David Leon achieved a huge career milestone, as he made his movie debut, landing a major role in the movie, These Foolish Things. In the same year, he featured in other movies such as Lives of the Saints, and the Strictly Confidential TV series. This feat set the ball rolling in his movie acting and production career.

A year later, in 2007, following his exploits that showcased to the world his unique and creative acting skills, David began attracting media attention, as well as those of movie producers. This popularity already got him another active role in the BBC series The Wild West, as Billy the Kid. At this point, David became quite a regular face on the silver screens. He became so relevant, such that many movie directors kept hovering around him, requesting his presence in their movies.

Meanwhile, David had been working hard to advance his career, and become more of a movie director, and producer. In this regard, he started featuring as a co-director in short films such as Father and others.

In 2010, David co-directed the award-winning film (short), Man and Boy, alongside Marcus McSweeney. Also, David featured in the theater play Polar Bear, by Mark Haddon.

By 2011, his popularity soared when he featured in one of the most popular and widely watched ITV detective series Vera, where he played the role of DS Joe Ashworth. He starred alongside Brenda Blethyn, in the TV series until 2014.

David’s movie production career grew in leaps and bounds after the completion of his first full-length movie, Orthodox in 2015, which got the rare privilege to make it into prestigious film festivals, including the likes of the 58th BFI London Film Festival.

David Leon’s role as Joe Ashworth in Vera

David made his debut appearance on Vera as sidekick Joe Ashworth back in 2011. He swiftly rose to become DCI Vera Stanhope’s most reliable assistant. Brenda Blethyn, who’s the lead actress (as DCI Vera Stanhope) in the TV series has confessed that working with Leon on the show was awesome. During his time in the series, David and Brenda maintained such tight bonds as they successfully tackled several cases as a team.

Consequently, Brenda didn’t take the exit of David Leon from Vera lightly when he left the show after series four in 2014. Brenda was hit hard by David’s decision to leave as he was her right-hand man in the series. She once disclosed that his exit was a rather big blow for the series, and for her as well. Leon’s character on the show had become a fan favorite and fans really miss him, thus, they often wonder why he had to leave the show.

The real reason David Leon left Vera

Vera TV series is back for another season on ITV, which started airing on September 5, 2021, at 8 pm. As expected, detective Vera returned to the screen for the 11th season of the show, complete with her signature hat and raincoat. However, one person that fans may never get to see on the show again is David Leon.

Though it was a painful exit for his many fans, after season 4 of the ITV program, Leon took his bow and left. To make his exit a smooth one, his character, Joe, relocated to another city, which was a shock to fans of the show, considering how close he had grown to detective Vera. According to reports, the actor consciously decided to leave the show to pursue other endeavors in his career. He was starting production on his first feature-length film, Orthodox at the time he left Vera which explains a lot.

Kenny Doughty replaced David Leon on vera, joining the show as DS Aiden Healy. David left the show in 2015 after his character got promoted while Kenny stepped into his shoes in 2015. The latter has been on the show since then and all reviews about his time with the other cast members have been positive.

David Leon

What is the actor up to after Vera?

David Leon has shown no sign of slowing down in his career since his departure from Vera. He continued pursuing his passion for acting, directing, and movie production. Since leaving Vera, aside from his directorial and production exploits, he has taken on quite a number of acting roles.

He landed a role in BBC’s The Refugees as Alex, as well as in The Dark, where he played DI Adam Perrin. Again, in 2019, David proceeded to star in Gold Digger, a six-part drama mini-series aired on BBC One. Away from acting roles, David has also directed and produced several films, and following his exit from Vera, he kicked off production on his TV drama miniseries, Orthodox.

The Netflix series has an interesting storyline, where three Hasidic Jews attempt to leave their ultra-Orthodox community. David later developed Orthodox into a full-length feature film in 2015 and it became a blockbuster, which got listed in several film festivals. He focused on the feature film after leaving Vera.

Who is David Leon dating now?

The Vera star has clocked 43 years old but he is yet to walk down the aisle with anyone. A look at his relationship status proves that at the moment, despite his good looks, and fame, David Leon is still single. There is no doubt he will have lots of secret admirers but none seems to appeal to him or he just wants to keep his private life away from public scrutiny.

Notwithstanding, there have been indications that he might have been in a romantic relationship sometime in the past. To date, nobody has been romantically linked to the Vera star but we can’t take that as proof that he has not been in a relationship before. The actor is quite an eye candy and shouldn’t have any trouble attracting romantic partners.

Read Also: How Old Is Jeff Osterhage? Facts About The Actor Who Played Tyrell Sackett

David Leon’s movies and productions

David Leon on the set of Vera with costar – image source

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)

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)
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