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Allen, William Ernest (Chesney) (1894–1982), comedian and singer, was born at 7 Hamballa Road, Battersea, London, on 5 April 1894, the son of Edwin Allen, a prosperous builder, and his wife, Louisa, née Cridland. Allen's first employment on leaving school was as a solicitor's clerk. In 1912, at the age of eighteen, he made his début as an actor in repertory at the ...

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Brown, Georgia (1933–1992), singer and actress, was born Lilian Claire Klot on 21 October 1933 at 24 Underwood Street, Whitechapel, London, the daughter of Mark Klot, formerly Kleotz (1904–1981), fur cutter and part-time bookmaker, and his wife, Annie, née Kirschenbaum (1906–1988). At the time of her birth registration her parents lived at ...

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Connor, Edric Esclus (1913–1968), actor and singer, was born on 2 August 1913 in the village of Mayaro, Trinidad, the son of Edwin Connor, shoemaker and small farmer. At sixteen he won a scholarship from the Trinidad government railway to study engineering at the ...

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Edric Esclus Connor (1913–1968) by unknown photographer collection of Stephen Bourne

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See Delfont, Bernard [formerly Boris Winogradsky], Baron Delfont

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Dury, Ian Robins (1942–2000), popular singer, songwriter, and actor, was born on 12 May 1942 at 43 Weald Rise, Harrow Weald, Harrow, Middlesex, the only child of William George Dury (d. 1968) and Margaret Cuthbertson (Peggy) Dury, formerly Walker (d. 1995)...

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Emmanuel, Ivor Lewis (1927–2007), singer and actor, was born on 7 November 1927 at 3 Prince Street, Port Talbot, Glamorgan, the elder son and eldest of three children of Stephen John Emmanuel (1905–1941), steelworker, and his wife, Ivy Margaretta, née Lewis (1908–1941). When he was six months old the family moved up the ...

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Fields, Dame Gracie [real name Grace Stansfield] (1898–1979), music-hall entertainer and film actress, was born at 9 Molesworth Street, Rochdale, Lancashire, on 9 January 1898, the eldest of the four children (three daughters and one son) of Fred Stansfield (1874–1956), engineer, and his wife, ...

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Flanagan, Bud [real name Chaim Reuben Weintrop] (1896–1968), comedian and singer, was born on 14 November 1896 in Hanbury Street, London, the fifth son and the youngest of the ten children of Polish immigrants, Wolf Weintrop, the owner of a barber's shop and tobacconist's in ...

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Bud Flanagan (1896–1968) by Houston Rogers, 1950 [in Knights of Madness by Ross Parker] V&A Images, The Victoria and Albert Museum

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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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Grant, Cyril Ewart Lionel [Cy] (1919–2010), actor and singer, was born on 8 November 1919 in Beterverwagting, Demerera, British Guiana, the son of Henry William Grant, a Moravian minister. His mother was a music teacher. 'I was brought up in a typically colonial way', he later said, 'singing ...

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Cyril Ewart Lionel Grant (1919–2010) by unknown photographer, 1960 Collection Stephen Bourne

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Gray, Dolores (1924–2002), singer and actress, was born on 7 June 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Her father, who never really featured in her life, left her mother, Barbara, in 1926, and died some five years later. Barbara, a classic stage mother, believed her daughter was destined for stardom, and when the marriage broke up took ...

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See Harrison, Sir Reginald Carey [Rex]

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Jones, David Thomas [Davy] (1945–2012), singer and actor, was born on 30 December 1945 at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, the son of Thomas Harry Jones (d. 1968), a locomotive fitter, and his wife, Doris, née Whitehead. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Patricia Kirkwood (1921–2007) by Anthony Buckley Camera Press London

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Kirkwood, Patricia [Pat] (1921–2007), actress and singer, was born on 24 February 1921 at 6 Seedley Terrace, Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, the elder child and only daughter of William Kirkwood, a shipping clerk of Scottish descent, and his wife, Norah, née Carr. Her mother had theatrical ambitions for ...

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Lind, Letty [real name Letitia Elizabeth Rudge] (1861–1923), actress and dancer, was born Letitia Elizabeth Rudge on 21 December 1861, at her father's residence, Back 159, Irving Street, Birmingham. Letty was the eldest daughter in the family of five daughters and three sons of ...

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Letty Lind (1861–1923) by Alfred Ellis, pubd 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London