"[My face] looks like a disreputable bloodhound, a melancholic camel or an apologetic yak."
“I plead for my life! I plead for justice!...oooh, I'm a miserable pleader!”
“Very clever, all those boys are, very clever boys. I think they should turn professional. They tell me now they've learned to put on make-up. Soon they're going to use it on the stage!”
"I'm flabbergasted! My gast has never been so flabbered!"
It is the centenary today of one of Britain's greatest and best-loved comedians, Mr Frankie Howerd...
From The Twentieth Century Files blog:
Fellow comedian Barry Cryer described his career as “a series of comebacks”, which spanned six decades. Beginning his professional career in the late 40s, he got a real boost in the 60s appearing on That Was The Week That Was and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum in London’s West End. After featuring in Carry On Doctor, he started to get his own shows on TV, especially in Up Pompeii!, appearing as slave Lurcio. The show got its film version in 1971, and Howerd played versions of Lurcio in the follow ups Up The Chastity Belt and Up The Front.Master of the innuendo and the "stage whisper", Frankie was certainly one of the great "Queens of Comedy"!
Throughout his early career he had to hide his homosexuality (acts between consenting males were illegal until 1967). He once said to Cilla Black, ”I wish to God I wasn’t gay.” In 1958, he met wine waiter Dennis Heymer while dining with Sir John Mills. Heymer became Howerd’s lover and manager, and they remained together until Howerd’s death.
Howerd contracted a virus whilst on a trip up the Amazon river in 1991. Suffering respiratory problems the following year, he died of heart failure on 19 April 1992, aged 75, just one day before fellow comedian Benny Hill.
We miss him.
Francis Alick "Frankie" Howerd, OBE (6th March 1917 – 19th April 1992)