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Bard, Wilkie [real name William August Smith] (1874–1944), music-hall performer, was born on 19 March 1874 at 19 Alderley Street, Hulme, Manchester, son of William Herbert Smith, a bookkeeper, and his wife, Marie Stetzer. He was educated in Manchester, first worked there in a cotton spinner's warehouse, and became well known as a concert singer, performing at such local venues as the ...

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Herbert Campbell (1844–1904) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Campbell, Herbert [real name Herbert Edward Story] (1844–1904), music-hall performer, was born on 22 December 1844 at 16 Hamilton Street, Kennington, Surrey, the son of Henry George Story, smith, and his wife, Hannah Fisher. Little is known of his early life beyond the agitation which resulted whenever ...

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Harry Champion (1865–1942) by unknown photographer, 1938 © Getty Images

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Champion, Harry [real name William Henry Crump] (1865–1942), music-hall entertainer, was probably the William Henry Crump born at 30 Grafton Street, Mile End, London, on 8 April 1865, the son of Walter Henry Crump, a tailor who was later a butcher and licensed victualler, and his wife, ...

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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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Chirgwin, George (1854–1922), music-hall performer, was born on 14 December 1854 at 4 Great St Andrews Street, St Giles, London, the fourth of the four children of Edward Chirgwin (d. 1877), shoemaker, journeyman, and circus performer, and his wife, Caroline (d...

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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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Elen, Ernest Augustus [Gus] (1862–1940), music-hall singer, was born on 22 July 1862 at 103 Pulford Street, Pimlico, London, the fifth of eleven children of Edwin Elen (1821-1887), a viewer of cloth in the Royal Military Clothing Depot, and his wife ...

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Ernest Augustus Elen (1862–1940) by unknown photographer, c. 1905 © National Portrait Gallery, 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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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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Graves, George Windsor (1873–1949), comedian, was born at 13 Mare Street, Hackney, London, on 2 January 1873, the youngest child of Thomas Graves, a publican, and his second wife, Martha Alice, daughter of John Mulvey, a compositor. From early childhood it was his desire to be an actor although he had no theatrical ancestry. He left ...

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Handley, Thomas Reginald [Tommy] (1892–1949), comedian, was born on 17 January 1892 at 13 Threlfall Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, the son of John Handley, a cow keeper, and his wife, Sarah Ann Pearson. Tommy Handley's father, who probably ran a dairy business, died while ...

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Lauder, Sir Henry [Harry] (1870–1950), music-hall singer, was born in Bridge Street, Portobello, near Edinburgh, on 4 August 1870, the eldest of seven children of John Lauder (d. 1882), potter, of Musselburgh and his wife, Isobella Urquhart Macleod, daughter of Henry MacLennan...

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Sir Henry Lauder (1870–1950) by Cavendish Morton, 1904 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Leno, Dan [real name George Wild Galvin] (1860–1904), comedian, was born on 20 December 1860 at 6 Eve Place, London—not on the site of St Pancras Station, as often recounted, but just to the north. He was one of several children of ...

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Leybourne, George [performing name Champagne Charlie] (1842–1884), music-hall entertainer, popularly known as Champagne Charlie, was born on 17 March 1842 in Stourbridge, Gateshead, the son of Joseph Leybourne, a currier and sometime theatre musician, and his wife, Isabella, née Bullerwell. Leybourne's early life remains obscure and misreported, but he is known to have moved to ...