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Ram John-Holder was born in Guyana in 1934. He began his performing career as a folk singer in New York. In 1962 he came to London and worked with Pearl Connor's Negro Theatre Workshop initially as a musician, and later as an actor. His theatre career saw him perform on the major stages in London such as the Royal National Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and Bristol Old Vic.Holder played the role of Porkpie in the situation comedy Desmond's, which was written by Trix Worrell, and broadcast on Channel 4 from 1989 until 1994. He later had his own short-lived spin-off series Porkpie.
Holder has appeared in several television productions and joined the cast of EastEnders in late September 2006, playing Cedric Lucas. Holder is a talented musician, who has recorded a number of albums; Black London Blues (1969), Bootleg Blues (1971), You Simply Are... (1975) and Ram Blues & Soul. He has also released various singles and contributed to soundtracks for film and television, including three songs for the film adaptation of Take a Girl Like You.