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Chevalier, Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis (1861–1923), comedian and actor, was born on 21 March 1861 at 21 St Ann's Villas, Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, London, the eldest son of Jean Onésime Chevalier, language teacher, and his wife, Ellen Louisa Mathews; his name at birth was registered simply as ...

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Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier (1861–1923) by B. Knight [Mafekin' Night] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Charles Coborn (1852–1945) by unknown photographer [in costume for the Monte Carlo song] Mander & Mitchenson Theatre Collection

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Coborn, Charles [real name Colin Whitton McCallum] (1852–1945), music-hall entertainer and songwriter, was born Colin Whitton McCallum on 4 August 1852 at 25 Sydney Square, Mile End, London, the son of Colin McCallum (1799–1872), shipbroker and freeman of the City of London...

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Elliott, George Henry (1882–1962), black-face minstrel and music-hall entertainer, was born on 3 November 1882 at the George and Dragon inn, Blackwater Street, Rochdale, Lancashire. His publican father, Henry, was locally well known as a pianist, while his mother, Alice (née Gray)...

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Elvin, Joe [real name Joseph Peter Keegan] (1862–1935), music-hall entertainer, was born on 29 November 1862 at 3 Rose Street, Soho, central London, the son of Joseph Peter Keegan (1840–1901), actor and music-hall artiste, and his wife, Annie Delaney. He was educated at a Catholic school in ...

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Formby, George [real name George Hoy Booth] (1904–1961), music-hall entertainer and actor, was born at 3 Westminster Street, Wigan, Lancashire, on 26 May 1904, the eldest of the seven surviving children (four girls and three boys) of James Lawler Booth (1875–1922), music-hall entertainer, and his wife, ...

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Howerd, Frankie [real name Francis Alick Howard] (1917–1992), comedian, was born in York on 6 March 1917, the elder son and eldest of three children of Francis Alfred William Howard, soldier and tutor in the army education corps, and his wife, Edith Florence, ...

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Frankie Howerd (1917–1992) by Vincent Gillett © Vincent Gillet Photography; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Tommy Lorne (1890–1935) by unknown photographer, 1920s Glasgow University Library, special collections (photo B1/26)

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Lorne, Tommy [real name Hugh Corcoran] (1890–1935), music-hall entertainer and comedian, was born on 7 December 1890 at 8 Fleming Street in the Cowcaddens district of Glasgow, the youngest of the six children of John Corcoran (1852/3–1917), a mason's labourer, and his wife, ...

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Joseph Carey Merrick [the Elephant Man] (1862–1890) by unknown photographer, c. 1889 Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum

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Merrick, Joseph Carey [called the Elephant Man] (1862–1890), freak show novelty and medical curiosity, was born at 50 Lee Street, Leicester, on 5 August 1862, the elder son (there was also a daughter) of Joseph Rockley Merrick (b. 1835/6), a warehouseman and machine operator in a cotton factory, and ...

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Potter, Gillie [real name Hugh William Peel] (1887–1975), comedian and broadcaster, was born at 27 Weston Street, St Paul, Bedford, on 14 September 1887, the eldest son of the Revd Brignal Peel, a Wesleyan minister, and his wife, Elizabeth Stimson. He was educated at ...

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Wilton, Robb [real name Robert Smith] (1881–1957), comedian, was born on 28 August 1881 at 34 Tillotson Street, Everton, Liverpool, the son of Joseph Smith, compositor, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Poland, actress. He was soundly educated locally and was prepared for the engineering trade, but in 1899 he made his stage début at the ...