John Ernest Hollingsworth was born on 20 March 1916 in Enfield, Middlesex.
John Hollingsworth studied at the Guildhall School of Music, and, by 1939, was conducting concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. The following year, he joined the orchestra of the Royal Air Force as an associate conductor, at the same time orchestrating wartime documentaries made by the Crown Film Unit. After the war, Hollingsworth alternated working on feature films with conducting for ballet and classical music, frequently performing at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In 1954, he replaced Frank Spencer as musical director at Hammer Studios. As music supervisor, he worked on some of Hammer’s best-known films, such as The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)and Dracula (1958). Hollingsworth remained in his position at Hammer until his death.
John Hollingsworth died in London on 29 December 1963, from pneumonia, he was just 47.