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View Full Version : Norman Wisdom is dead!



TimberWolf
4th October 2010, 21:27
Announced while the 22 O'clock news was on and not yet showing in Google News.

The Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Wisdom) has been updated though.

Zippy
4th October 2010, 21:36
That was a bloody good innings. He kept his marbles until the last few years and I would imagine a few on here would be jealous.

administrator
4th October 2010, 21:36
Announced while the 22 O'clock news was on and not yet showing in Google News.

The Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Wisdom) has been updated though.

Would it be in bad taste to say I thought he was dead already?

Zippy
4th October 2010, 21:38
Would it be in bad taste to say I thought he was dead already?

It would have been if Mr Z hadn't beaten you to it.

MarillionFan
4th October 2010, 21:40
Would it be in bad taste to say I thought he was dead already?

Yes!!!!:mad

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!:eek:

He was my comedy hero. :frown

Farewell Norman. Mr. Mr Grimmmmmmsdaaaaallllllleeeeeee!:frown

TimberWolf
4th October 2010, 21:42
Would it be in bad taste to say I thought he was dead already?

You're no.1 moderator, you tell us!

It's sad news, but as already said he had a good innings. Lingering on can't be much fun either.

EternalOptimist
4th October 2010, 21:46
He did more in his life before he even became an entertainer than most would dream of

administrator
4th October 2010, 21:49
You're no.1 moderator, you tell us!


Not bad taste, as confirmed by Zippy's better other half. At 95 I am not surprised I thought he had already shuffled off his mortal coil. V good innings. RIP Sir Norman.

MarillionFan
4th October 2010, 21:51
Early years
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in the Marylebone (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Marylebone) district of London (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/London). His parents were Frederick, a chauffeur (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Chauffeur) and Maud Wisdom (née Targett), a dressmaker (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Dressmaker) who often worked for West End theatres (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/West_End_theatre). The couple married in Marylebone in 1912.[4] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-3) Norman Wisdom's elder brother, Fred, was born in 1913. The family resided at 91 Fernhead Road, London W9, where they slept in one room.[5] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-MyTurn-4)
After a period in a children's home (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Foster_care) in Deal, Kent (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Deal,_Kent), Wisdom ran away when he was 11 but returned to become an errand boy with a grocery store on leaving school at 13. After this he walked (by his own account) to Cardiff (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Cardiff), Wales (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Wales) where he became a cabin boy (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Cabin_boy) in the Merchant Navy (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/British_Merchant_Navy). He also worked as a coal miner (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Coal_miner), waiter (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Waiter) and page boy (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Page_(servant)). He then enlisted as a drummer boy (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Drummer_boy) in the 10th Royal Hussars (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/10th_Royal_Hussars) of the British Army (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/British_Army) and in 1930 was posted to Lucknow (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Lucknow), India (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/India) as a bandsman (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Military_band).
There he gained an education certificate, rode horses, was the flyweight (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Flyweight) boxing champion of the British Army in India and learned to play the trumpet and clarinet. [5] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-MyTurn-4) While performing a comedy boxing (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Boxing) routine in an army gym, Wisdom discovered he had a talent for entertainment[6] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-5) and began to develop his skills as a musician (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Musician) and stage entertainer (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Performance_art).[3] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-BBCFool-2) After leaving the army he learned to drive and worked as a private hire car (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Taxicabs_of_the_United_Kingdom) driver and having improved his diction in the army he also took a job as a night telephone operator (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Telephone_operator).[5] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-MyTurn-4)
World War II
At the outbreak of World War II (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/World_War_II) Wisdom was sent to work in a communications centre in a command bunker in London where he connected telephone calls from war leaders to the prime minister (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_the_United_Kingdom). He met Winston Churchill (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Winston_Churchill) on several occasions when asked for updates on incoming calls and once was disciplined for calling him Winnie.[5] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-MyTurn-4) He then joined the Royal Corps of Signals (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Royal_Corps_of_Signals) and performed a similar function with a military unit based in Cheltenham (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Cheltenham), Gloucestershire (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Gloucestershire). After a charity concert at the Cheltenham Town Hall (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Cheltenham_Town_Hall), actor Rex Harrison (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Rex_Harrison) came backstage and urged him to become a professional entertainer.[7] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-6)
In 1941, Wisdom provided the lyrics for the popular Second World War song "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/(There%27ll_Be_Bluebirds_Over)_The_White_Cliffs_of _Dover)"
Theatre
Leaving the Army (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/British_Army) in 1946, Wisdom made his debut as a professional entertainer at the age of 31, and his rise to the top was phenomenally fast. Initially the straight man (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Double_act) to the magician (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Magic_(illusion)) David Nixon (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/David_Nixon_(magician)),[3] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-BBCFool-2) he had adopted the suit that would remain his trademark; tweed flat cap (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Flat_cap) askew, with peak turned up; a suit at least two sizes too tight; a crumpled collar and a mangled tie. This character known as "the Gump" was to dominate Wisdom's film career.
A West End (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/West_End_theatre) star within two years, he made his TV debut the same year and was soon commanding enormous audiences. Charlie Chaplin (http://forums.contractoruk.com/wiki/Charlie_Chaplin) called Wisdom his "favourite clown".[3] (http://forums.contractoruk.com/l%20cite_note-BBCFool-2)

administrator
4th October 2010, 21:57
He did more in his life before he even became an entertainer than most would dream of

Just read the wikipedia entry - certainly did live an interesting life. Then read this article in the wail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-474778/Revealed-Why-Sir-Norman-Wisdoms-family-wont-let-friends-him.html) poor sod. Sounds like an undignified end for a good man.

PRC1964
4th October 2010, 22:18
I met him when I was out in the park with my kids few years back. He was just what you'd want your grandfather to be.

RIP

Bagpuss
4th October 2010, 22:24
Lee Evans will be getting more work now

MarillionFan
4th October 2010, 22:27
Lee Evans will be getting more work now

That's bad.... :rollin:

OwlHoot
4th October 2010, 22:38
The Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Wisdom) has been updated though.

Holy carp. Those Wiki editors must be absolute ghouls - The guy is barely cold! :laugh

shaunbhoy
5th October 2010, 07:40
I remember seeing a documentary on him a few years back. In it he explained that he had first learned how to do comedy rolls as a child when his father would go into a rage and throw him and his brother around the room, often bouncing them off the walls and ceilings. :eek :eek

Albania will be having a day in mourning!!

:frown

GillsMan
5th October 2010, 08:00
Wasn't he treated like a God in Albania or something? Vaguely remembered something about it before an England match.

Old Greg
5th October 2010, 08:38
Wasn't he treated like a God in Albania or something? Vaguely remembered something about it before an England match.

Their nutter dictator saw his characters as the archetype worker downtrodden but unbeaten by capitalism... or something like that.