Martin Kemp said Steve Strange, who gave his band Spandau Ballet their first gigs at The Blitz Club in London, was also responsible for giving him his “naughty side”.
Kemp, 61, who also played Steve Owen in EastEnders, paid tribute to Strange in the opening of his new book, Ticket To The World: My 80s Story.
Speaking to The One Show on Thursday, Kemp said “(My drama teacher) gave me my good side and Steve Strange, he gave me the naughty side.
“He was the loveliest man. He opened up so many people’s lives.
“He, for me, created what we know as the (1980s)
“You know in life, you always lose the big characters? He was it.”
New Romantic pioneer Strange, who also inspired other bands like Duran Duran and Boy George of Culture Club, died in 2015 aged 55.
He found fame in the 1980s as frontman of Visage, whose best known hit was Fade To Grey.
Kemp also spoke about his “biggest regret” when he was in Spandau Ballet with his brother Gary Kemp.
He was replaced on the synth-bass by producer Tony Swain for the studio recording of the 1980s band’s biggest hit, True.
Martin Kemp said “there wasn’t much involvement” from his side in the song which spent four weeks at number one in the UK chart after being released in April 1983.
He said the band was in the Bahamas at the time and he was thinking “if I don’t do this I can go out in the swimming pool a bit quicker”.
“In reality, when I look back, I wish I had of done (the track),” he said.