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Dame Gracie Fields (1898–1979) by James Jarché © reserved; collection Science & Society Picture Library / Kodak Collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

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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George Formby (1904–1961) by A. J. Tanner, 1953 © Science & Society Picture Library; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

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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Sir Harry Donald Secombe (1921–2001) by David Poole, 1968 © David Poole / The Army Benevolent Fund; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Secombe, Sir Harry Donald (1921–2001), entertainer, was born in Swansea on 8 September 1921, the younger son and third of four children of Frederick Ernest Secombe, a commercial traveller for the wholesale grocery firm Walters and Batchelors and an amateur cartoonist, and his wife, ...