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(Thomas) Ryan Davies (1937–1977) by unknown photographer, 1973 [left, with Ronnie Williams] © BBC

Article

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 ...

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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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Arthur Lucan (1885–1954) by unknown photographer [as Old Mother Riley, with Kitty McShane as Kitty] photograph with permission of Lucan and McShane family for OMRALAS (Old Mother Riley, Arthur Lucan Appreciation Society)

Article

Lucan, Arthur [real name Arthur Towle] (1885–1954), comedian, was born in Sibsey, Boston, Lincolnshire, on 16 September 1885, the second of five children of Thomas Towle, a groom, and his wife, Lucy Ann Mawer. Educated at a local national school, from an early age he became interested in theatre and frequented ...