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Cushing, Peter Wilton (1913–1994), actor, was born at Normandy, Godstone Road, Kenley, Surrey, on 26 May 1913, the second son of George Edward Cushing (1881–1956), quantity surveyor, and his wife, Nellie Maria, née King (1880–1961). His grandfather Henry Cushing had been a member of ...

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Peter Wilton Cushing (1913–1994) by Anthony Buckley, 1953 © Kenneth Hughes / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dawson, Leslie [Les] (1931–1993), comedian, was born on 2 February 1931 in Thornton Street, Collyhurst, Manchester, the only child of Leslie Dawson (1905–1970), bricklayer, and his wife, Julia (c.1914–1957), daughter of David and Ellen Nolan. A small, chubby, solitary child, he grew up in some poverty in a ...

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Leslie Dawson (1931–1993) by R. Poplowski, 1973 Getty Images – R. Poplowski

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Elliott, Denholm Mitchell (1922–1992), actor, was born on 31 May 1922 at 48 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, London, the second son of Myles Layman Farr Elliott (d. 1933), barrister, and his wife, Nina, née Mitchell (d. 1966), the daughter of an Ayrshire...

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Denholm Mitchell Elliott (1922–1992) by Anthony Buckley, 1956 © Kenneth Hughes / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hawkins, John Edward [Jack] (1910–1973), actor, was born at Lyndhurst Road, Wood Green, Middlesex, on 14 September 1910, the son of master builder Thomas George Hawkins and his wife, Phoebe, née Goodman. The youngest of four children in a close-knit (though not at all theatrical) family, ...

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John Edward Hawkins (1910–1973) by Anthony Buckley, 1968 © Kenneth Hughes / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hill, Alfred Hawthorne [Benny] (1924–1992), comedian, was born in Southampton on 25 January 1924, the younger son and second of three children of Alfred Hill (d. 1971), a former circus performer and the manager of a surgical appliance shop in Southampton, and his wife, ...

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Alfred Hawthorne Hill (1924–1992) by Bob Collins, c. 1957 © Bob Collins; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Jewel, Jimmy [real name James Arthur Thomas Marsh] (1909–1995), comedian and actor, was born on 4 December 1909 at 52 Andover Street, Pittsmoor, Sheffield, the younger child of James Arthur Thomas Marsh (1881–1936), music-hall artist (under the name James A. Jewel) and designer and builder of stage scenery, and his wife, ...

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Jimmy Jewel (1909–1995) by Wolfgang Suschitzky, 1981 © Wolfgang Suschitzky / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Nimmo, Derek Robert (1930–1999), actor, was born at 26 Springbourne Road, Liverpool, on 19 September 1930, the son of an insurance clerk, Henry Nimmo, and his wife, Marjorie Sudbury Hardy. He was educated at Quarry Bank School, Liverpool, where the enlightened headmaster, R. F. Bailey...

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Derek Robert Nimmo (1930–1999) by A. Harris, 1973 © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Pickles, Wilfred (1904–1978), actor and broadcaster, was born on 13 October 1904 at 24 Conway Street, Halifax, the second of the four sons of Frederick Pickles (1880–1954), stonemason and builder, and his wife, Margaret (1876–1962), daughter of William Catterall and his wife, Ellen...

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Wilfred Pickles (1904–1978) by Lenare, 1949 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Secombe, Sir Harry Donald (1921–2001), entertainer, was born in Swansea on 8 September 1921, the younger son and third of four children of Frederick Ernest Secombe, a commercial traveller for the wholesale grocery firm Walters and Batchelors and an amateur cartoonist, and his wife, ...