Barrett was born in Bondi, Australia, the son of George and Marguerite Barrett. He left school at 14 to do a few odd jobs before taking on a trade as a butcher around the eastern suburbs of Sydney. He gave up his trade when a hind of beef fell on him and injured his shoulder. While he was on worker's compensation, he completed three writing courses at the WEA (Workers' Educational Association). When his sickness benefits ran out he worked in various jobs, DJ, barman, or went on the dole. His first writing job was gag writing for disc jockeys on Radio 2SM. He also signed on with a casting agent and started acting in commercials and television series and appeared in what he says are 'two classic A-grade clunkers'; the movies Bullamakanka and The Empty Beach.
Wolfman Les - rock'n'roll DJ. Another good idea down the gurgler... What should have been a quick gig on a radio station followed by a white water rafting holiday in North Queensland finishes up a four wheel drive trip to Cooktown with Norton looking for two missing SCUBA divers. The army, the air force and half the Queensland water police couldn't find Jade Biscayne and Horden Genting. What chance does Les have? Along the way Les finds the Rainbow Princess, out chasing UFO's and predicting the future. He also finds man-eating crocodiles, heat and humidity, and that everywhere he goes ratbags have it in for him, thinking he is somebody else. Then, in a place of indescribable beauty, Norton uncovers unimaginable terror... From FM music to FN Queensland, this Les Norton adventure is set in Cairns and Cooktown.