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Bennett, William Robertson Russell [Billy] (1887–1942), comedian, was born in Glasgow, the son of John Bennett who partnered Robert Martell in the Bennett and Martell slapstick comedy act which was quite well known in the 1890s and Edwardian years. Billy Bennett made his youthful first appearance as the rear end of a cow and spent a period as an acrobat, but was not keen to emulate his father and enlisted in the army. He then returned to the stage as a burlesque comic, but re-enlisted for the duration of the First World War. He served in the ...

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Bentine [formerly Bentin], Michael (1922–1996), comedian, was born on 26 January 1922, in Watford, Hertfordshire, the second of two sons of Adan (later Adam) Bentin, aeronautical engineer, and his wife, Florence (d. 1949), daughter of James Dawkins, a Southend Water Board...

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Michael Bentine (1922–1996) by unknown photographer, 1992 Rex Features

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Brambell, (Henry) Wilfrid (1912–1985), actor, was born on 22 March 1912 at 6 Edenvale Road, Rathgar, co. Dublin, one of at least two sons of Henry Lytton Brambell, a cashier at the Guinness brewery, and his wife, Edith Marks (b. c.1879)...

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(Henry) Wilfrid Brambell (1912–1985) by Vivienne, 1960s © Vivienne; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Richard David Briers (1934–2013) by David Corio, 1985 © David Corio

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Briers, Richard David (1934–2013), actor, was born on 14 January 1934 at the Nelson Hospital in Merton, south London, the elder child (his sister, Jane, was born in 1939) of Joseph Benjamin Briers (1901–1980), a 'commission agent' or bookmaker, and Morna Phyllis Richardson (1909–1992)...

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Burke, Patricia Rosa Moore (1916–2003), actress, was born at via Castelmorone 5, Milan, Italy, on 23 March 1916, the daughter of an operatic tenor known as ‘the Lancashire Caruso’, Thomas Aspinall Burke (1890–1969), and his wife, Marie Rosa, née Holt, formerly Altfuldisch, the actress ...

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Carse, (Verner) Duncan (1913–2004), polar explorer and broadcaster, was born on 28 July 1913 at 35 Castletown Road, Fulham, London, the son of (Andreas) Duncan Carse, artist, and his wife, Florence Marion, née Soames. He was originally named Werner Duncan but this was soon changed to ...

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(Verner) Duncan Carse (1913–2004) by Howard Coster, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London