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Arthur Bowden Askey (1900–1982) by Anthony Buckley, 1939 © Kenneth Hughes / National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Court, Hazel Marjorie (1926–2008), actress, was born Margery Hazel Court at 134 Heathfield Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, on 10 February 1926, the younger daughter of George William Court, a stores clerk, and former professional cricketer with Durham County Cricket Club, and his wife, Mary Magdalene (Madge), ...

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

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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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Doll [née Rickett], Josephine [Jo] [performing name Jo Douglas] (1926–1988), actress and television producer, was born at 146 The Green, Earlsheaton, near Huddersfield, on 6 October 1926, the eldest of the three children of Bernard Rickett (1899–1985), a manager for Fyffes banana company...

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Diana Dors (1931–1984) by Frank Buckingham?, 1955 Associated British-Pathe Ltd (courtesy Kobal)

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Dors [married names Hamilton, Dawson, Lake], Diana [real name Diana Mary Fluck] (1931–1984), actress, was born on 23 October 1931 in Swindon, Wiltshire, the only child of Albert Edward Sidney Fluck (1893–1963) of Swindon, a railway clerk and former army captain, and his wife, ...

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Dresdel, Sonia [real name Lois Obee] (1909–1976), actress, was born on 5 May 1909 in Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire, the daughter of John Henry Obee (b. 1868/9), a music-seller, and his wife, Florence Binks. Shortly afterwards the family moved to ...

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

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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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Stewart Granger (1913–1993) by Cornel Lucas, 1946 © Cornel Lucas; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Granger, Stewart [real name James Lablache Stewart] (1913–1993), actor, was born on 6 May 1913 in Old Brompton Road, London, the second of the two children of Major James Stewart (1861–1938), of the Royal Engineers, and his wife, Frederica, née Lablache. His mother hoped that he would emulate her great-grandfather, the celebrated basso profondo ...

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

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(Babette Louisa) Valerie Hobson (1917–1998) by Bassano, 1949 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hobson [married names Havelock-Allan, Profumo], (Babette Louisa) Valerie (1917–1998), actress, was born on 14 April 1917 at Sandy Bay, Larne, Ireland, the daughter of Commander Robert Gordon Hobson (1877–1940), naval officer, and his wife, Violette, née Hamilton-Willoughby (fl. c.1890–1955)...

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Frankie Howerd (1917–1992) by Vincent Gillett © Vincent Gillet Photography; 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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Hulbert, Claude Noel (1900–1964), actor, was born on 25 December 1900 at 732 Fulham Road, London, the younger son of Henry Harper Hulbert, physician and surgeon, and his wife, Lilian Mary Hinchliffe. From early childhood Claude displayed droll qualities in family theatricals. He was educated in ...

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