Wednesday, 6 October 2010

In Memory of Sir Norman Wisdom 1915 - 2010



Sir Norman Wisdom 1915 - 2010

The sad death of Sir Norman Wisdom was announced yesterday he was 95. He was a comic genius actor who will be missed by many who watch and loved his films. I remember watching him from an early age as he was one of my mums favourite actors and she love his song ‘Don’t laugh at me because I’m a fool’ and was good at singing it herself.
Born on the 4th of February 1914 after a difficult childhood he did various jobs including errand boy in a grocery store, cabin boy in the merchant navy, coal miner, waiter and page boy. He then enlisted as a drummer boy in the British Army, in 1930 he was posted to Lucknow, India as a bandsman. The army gave him an education and an opportunity to learn to ride a horse, play the trumpet and clarinet. He also became a flyweight boxing champion and while performing a comedy boxing routine he learnt he had a talent and love for entertaining.

In WW2 he was sent to work in a command centre and he met Winston Churchill on several occasions. While working at a military base in Cheltenham, he performed at a charity concert in Cheltenham Town Hall where actor Rex Harrison urged him to become a professional entertainer. He was to follow this advice in 1946 when he left the army. Becoming a professional entertainer at the age of 31, he rapidly rose to the top of the profession. A West End star within years, Charlie Chaplin called him his “favourite clown”

He began his film career in 1953 with the film ‘Trouble in Store’ for which he won a BAFTA award for most promising newcomer to film 1954. His career covered both stage, films, TV and he was also a talented singer and songwriter. In later years he often appeared in the BBC TV series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ playing the character Billy Ingleton. Knighted in 2000 he announced his retirement from the entertainment industry in 2005 at the grand age of 90 and spent the rest of his life at his home in the Isle of Man. He passed away there on 4th of October 2010 at the Abbotswood nursing home having given a life time of joy to all who saw him on stage and screen.

I’m not sure true comics like him can ever give up and I’m sure where ever he is, he will be still entertaining all with his loveable comic chacters and songs. I hope my mum has a front row seat to enjoy his show.

DON’T LAUGH AT ME (‘CAUSE I’M A FOOL)

Norman Wisdom and JuneTremayne. David Toff Music Publishing.
I’m not good looking, I’m not too smart,
I may be foolish but I’ve got a heart,
I love the flowers, I love the sun,
But when I try to love the girls,
They laugh at me and run.

Don’t laugh at me ‘cause I’m a fool,
I know it’s true yes! I’m a fool.
No one seems to care,
I’d give the world to share my life
With someone who really loves me.
I see them all falling in love,

But my lucky star hides up above.
Some day may-be
My star will smile on me.

Don’t laugh at me ‘cause I’m a fool.

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