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Alan, Ray [name in religion Raymond Alan Whyberd] (1930–2010), ventriloquist, writer, and television presenter, was born on 18 September 1930 at 83 Dutton Street, Greenwich, London, the fourth son of Albert William Whyberd (1895–1984), shipping clerk, later a local government officer, and his wife, ...

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Allen, Dave [real name David Edward John Archer Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony] (1936–2005), comedian, was born on 6 July 1936 at Merrion House, Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, the youngest of three sons of (Gerard John) Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony (b. 1900), journalist and managing editor of the ...

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Askey, Arthur Bowden (1900–1982), actor and entertainer, was born on 6 June 1900 at 29 Moses Street, Liverpool, the elder child and only son of Samuel Askey (d. 1958), secretary of the firm Sugar Products of Liverpool, and his wife, Betsy Bowden (...

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Atwell, (Una) Winifred (c. 1913–1983), pianist and entertainer, was born on 27 April c.1913 in Jubilee Street, Tunapuna, near Port of Spain, Trinidad, the only child of a chemist, Frederick Monroe Atwell (d. 1958), and a district nurse, Sarah Elizabeth (...

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1778–1823), performing artist and Egyptologist, was born on 5 November 1778 in Padua, the son of a barber, Giacomo Belzoni, and his wife, Teresa. He went to Rome aged sixteen to prepare himself for monastic orders; he claimed also to have studied hydraulics. The French invasion of ...

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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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Brown, Janet McLuckie (1923–2011), actress and impressionist, was born on 14 December 1923 at 26 Hamilton Road, Rutherglen, near Glasgow, the daughter of Andrew Brown, a sheet-iron worker in the Clyde shipyards, and his wife, Helen McLuckie, née Russell. She was educated at ...

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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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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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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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Cochran, Sir Charles Blake (1872–1951), impresario, was born on 25 September 1872 at 15 Prestonville Road, Brighton, Sussex, the fourth of the nine children of James Elphinstone Cochran (1840–1900), tea and cigar importer, and his wife, Matilda Arnold née Walton (1838–1929), daughter of a merchant navy officer and the widowed mother of a son by her first marriage. At the age of seven ...

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Collins [married names Cooney, Tate], Charlotte Louisa [Lottie] (1865–1910), music-hall entertainer, was born on 16 August 1865 at 50 Richard Street, St George-in-the-East, London, the daughter of William Alfred Collins, wood-turner, and his wife, Charlotte, née Atkinson. Her father was also a ‘blackface minstrel’, and at the age of eleven ...

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Cook, Peter Edward (1937–1995), humorist and entertainer, was born on 17 November 1937 at Shearbridge, Middle Warberry Road, Torquay, Devon, the only son and eldest of the three children of Alexander Edward (Alec) Cook (d. 1984), colonial civil servant, and his wife, ...

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Cooper, Thomas Frederick [Tommy] (1921–1984), comedian, was born on 19 March 1921 at Caerphilly, Glamorgan, the elder of the two sons of Thomas Cooper, coalminer, and his wife, Catherine Gertrude Wright. Although born in Wales, Cooper was brought up mainly in Exeter (where he attended ...

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Corbett, Harry (1918–1989), children's entertainer, was born on 28 January 1918 at 27 Edmund Street, Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire, the elder son of James William Corbett (1884–1960), coalminer, and his wife, Florence (1884–1948), daughter of Harry Ramsden of Bradford, founder of the fish and chip dynasty. ...

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Crazy Gang (act. 1931–1962), comedians, came to prominence in the early 1930s. They comprised the double acts of Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen [see Allen, William Ernest (Chesney) (1894?-1982)], Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox [see Knox, Edward Albert Cromwell], ...

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Cutler, Ivor (1923–2006), humorist and singer, was born Isadore Cutler on 15 January 1923 at 3 Ralston Drive, Govan, Glasgow, the second son and third of five children of Jack Morris Cutler, draper and jeweller, and his wife, Paulina (Polly), née Goldberg. Both his parents were Jewish, and had arrived in ...

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Davies, (Thomas) Ryan (1937–1977), actor and comedian, was born at the family home, Mountain View, Glanaman, Carmarthenshire, on the edge of the south Wales coalfield, on 22 January 1937, the only child of William Thomas Davies and his wife, Nance, née Roberts. His parents' work as wardens of local government hostels meant that he spent a somewhat nomadic youth, predominantly within ...