Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

1992) described it--"His forlorn, elongated face, like a bloodhound that had mislaid its bone." In 1963 he became a regular on the BBC's That Was the Week That Was. British Music Hall died in the 1950s, but Frankie Howerd went on to greater fame, appearing in two, sold-out one-man shows, Frankie Howerd Bursts into Britain ( 1989) and Quite Frankly Frankie Howerd ( 1990). In reviewing the last show, Charles Spencer, in the Daily Telegraph ( April 4, 1990), described Howerd as

still emphatically in his comic prime. . . .

He would, he says, be very grateful if we could force a few titters, before leering horribly: "That's right missus, get your titters out." When a succession of truly terrible gags is met with virtual silence, he peers desperately into the auditorium, uttering an anxious "Hello" like a man left alone in a room with the lights switched off. After more than 40 years in the stand-up comedy game, Howerd has reached the stage where he scarcely needs jokes any more. He tells them, of course, and many of them appear to have been around for almost as long as he has. But they are a side issue. The real joke is Howerd himself, sweating his way through his act, reducing the audience to his level. His style is circumlocutory, and one can just imagine him savouring every syllable of such a word.

Frankie Howerd was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1977 New Year Honours List. He died in London on April 19, 1992, leaving an estate of 1.3 million pounds to be divided between his sister Edith, known as Betty, and his manager, Denis Heymer. He is sorely missed.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Grove Valerie. "Give the Lad a Joke, He'll Cast the Spell Himself." The Sunday Times, April 8, 1990, p. C7.

Hall William. Titter Ye Not! London: Grafton, 1992.

Stacey Tom, "A Funny Thing Happened. . . ." The Daily Telegraph Magazine, June 14, 1974, pp. 29-30, 34, 38.

Took Barry. Star Turns: The Life and Times of Benny Hill & Frankie Howerd. North Pomfret, Vt.: Trafalgar Square, 1993.


JOHN HURT

John Hurt's career can be divided into two parts--before and after playing Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant. Despite being steadfastly heterosexual, since his performance as the very gay Crisp, the actor has made something of a habit of playing camp creatures as varied as Caligula in I, Claudius and the gay police partner of Ryan O'Neal in Partners ( 1982).

Born in the Derbyshire mining village of Shirebrook on January 22,

-117-

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Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • A 1
  • B 13
  • C 39
  • D 55
  • E 59
  • F 67
  • G 75
  • H 85
  • Bibliography 117
  • I 121
  • J 123
  • K 141
  • L 147
  • M 161
  • Bibliography 181
  • O 191
  • P 193
  • R 203
  • Bibliography 232
  • T 235
  • W 243
  • General Bibliography 257
  • Index 259
  • About the Author 273
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