The official website of David Bret.
Featuring the work of Margaret Carew.
David Bret, Biographer
David Bret Marleau was born in Villejuif, Paris, on 8 November 1954. He was adopted by a British couple, Doris and George Spurr, and brought to live at Fox Farm in Wentworth, South Yorkshire. The Spurrs subsequently moved to Grange Farm, Wath-on-Dearne. Theirs was a troubled marriage. Doris spent much of her adult life moribund, whilst her husband cheated on her perpetually and abused their son. After leaving Grange Farm they lived for a while in Robledo's House, where the previous occupant had been Ted Robledo, the famous footballer. They then moved to a pub, The Mason's Arms, in Broomhill. Doris died in 1971, and for a short time David relocated to Stuttgart, in Germany. In 1972 he married Jeanne Elliss, and their son, Marleau, was born the following year.
In 1972, David - the typical Stage Door Johnny - met the singer Dorothy Squires backstage at the Sheffield Fiesta, forging a close friendship which would last until her death in 1998. It was she who urged him to send the script he had written, The Piaf Legend, to an agent. The book was published in October 1988, when David celebrated by legally changing his name from David Spurr, the name he had always hated on account of his father, to David Bret. By this time, he had made two more very important celebrity confidantes: the French chanteuse Barbara (Monique Serf, 1930-97) and Marlene Dietrich.
Over the course of the next few years, in the wake of the tremendous success of The Piaf Legend, Bret published a biography of Maurice Chevalier, for which Dietrich penned the introduction. He also collaborated with her on The Essential Marlene Dietrich, the last album to be released during her lifetimes. He transcribed four Barbara songs into English for her, besides composing "Les hommes bafoués", a song about AIDS oppression. With the French singer Gérard Berliner he wrote "I Sing My Life" for Dorothy Squires. Not long afterwards, he was championed by HM the Queen Mother whilst working on a biography of their idol, Gracie Fields. The opera star Montserrat Caballé championed him and wrote the introductions for his biographies of Maria Callas and Freddie Mercury, whilst the singer Elizabeth Welch championed Piaf, A Passionate Life, his second biography of the singer.
Since 1988, David Bret has published over forty books, most of them best-sellers. His subject range is wide - a far cry from his original intention to write only books about British churches. Two of these had been published in 1983/4 under the "dreaded" name of David Spurr. Bret has written successfully about rock stars, movie stars, opera stars, comedians, and even porn stars. He has written several novels, a spoof series, and a number of plays.
Also something of a raconteur, David Bret has appeared in over twenty television and cinema documentaries, made many television appearances, and made over 700 radio broadcasts around the world. His books have been published in several languages and sold over 2 million copies.