Who was Elton John's dad Stanley Dwight and who plays him in Rocketman?

25 March 2021, 16:01

Elton John and his father Stanley
Elton John and his father Stanley. Picture: Getty/Rex Shutterstock

By Tom Eames

Elton John had a strained relationship with his father Stanley Dwight, who divorced his mother while Elton was still a young boy.

Elton John's father Stanley Dwight was one of the main characters in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, played by actor Steven Mackintosh.

Who was Elton John's mum Sheila and why did they fall out?

But what happened to Stanley and what was their relationship like?

  1. Who was Elton John's father?

    Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in Pinner, Middlesex.

    He was the eldest child of Stanley Dwight and only child of Sheila Eileen. He was raised in a council house by his maternal grandparents, in Pinner. His parents married in 1945.

    See more: Elton John facts: Singer's age, husband, children, parents, net worth and real name revealed

    Stanley served as a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, and he tried to move his son away from music to a more traditional career, such as banking.

    However, Stanley was also a trumpet player with the Bob Millar Band, a semi-professional big band that performed at military dances. He was also a keen record buyer.

    When Elton was 14 his parents divorced.

  2. What happened to Stanley Dwight?

    Stanley Dwight with second wife Edna in 1976
    Stanley Dwight with second wife Edna in 1976. Picture: Rex Shutterstock

    Stanley soon remarried, tying the knot with partner Edna in the 1970s.

    The couple had three children together - three boys - and Stanley passed away in 1991 after years of ill health.

    See more: Who was Elton John's mum? Rocketman singer's relationship with Sheila Farebrother revealed

  3. What has Elton said about his father?

    The music icon has admitted that he was never sure why his father did not attend his concerts, but hinted that homophobia may have been a reason.

    Writing in The Times, Elton said: "My father was sealed off from my talent and I never knew why. Was it homophobia? Was it fear?

    See more: Elton John's husband and children: Inside their family life and incredible love story

    "That was a painful loss for me. But it was also a painful loss, I think, for my dad. That’s what prejudice does to people.

    Taron Egerton and Elton John perform 'Tiny Dancer' together

    "He was a tough and unemotional man. Hard. In the RAF. He was dismissive, disappointed and finally absent. I just wanted him to acknowledge what I’d done. But he never did."

    See more: Did Elton John really pick his name from a bandmate and a John Lennon poster?

    He added: "It wasn’t that he didn’t know how to relate to kids. He left us, remarried and had another family, and by all accounts was a great dad to them. It wasn’t children, it was me."

  4. Who plays Stanley in Rocketman?

    Steven Mackintosh
    Steven Mackintosh. Picture: Getty

    Stanley is portrayed by actor Steven Mackintosh in Rocketman.

    The 52-year-old actor is known for his role as Andreas Tanis in the Underworld movies.

    See more: Who is John Reid? Queen and Elton John manager in Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman

    His other notable roles include Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Land Girls, and the first season of Luther.

    You may also recognise him as Fred in the Muppet Christmas Carol!