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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Hereford, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (complications after an asthma attack)
Birth NameGilbert Charles Harding

Mini Bio (1)

Probably the most famous personality on British TV in the 1950s, Gilbert Harding was notorious for his rudeness and short temper as a panel member on the genteel parlor game What's My Line (1951), a program he occasionally presented. He also appeared in several British films, mostly playing himself. His most celebrated (if not infamous) appearance on film or TV was on the interview show Face to Face (1959), hosted by John Freeman, shortly before Harding's early death in 1960. A former policeman who was raised in the confines of a Victorian workhouse, he briefly broke down in tears during Freeman's relentless questioning. He was asked if he had ever been in the presence of someone dying. The only occasion he had been was with his mother, a fact Freeman was not aware of when this particular question came up. Freeman afterward said he very much regretted this action; indeed, a few minutes later in the interview Freeman assumed Harding's mother was still alive, and was promptly corrected by Harding. Revealingly, Harding admitted his bad temper and manners were "indefensible", "I'm profoundly lonely", "I'm not afraid of death . . . I would like to be dead . . . " and sadly, several weeks after the recording, he was.

A play based on Harding's life, starring Edward Woodward, was performed in London.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: J Bridge (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Personal Quotes (1)

[Speaking about having "overfortified" himself before a recording session for What's My Line (1951) in December 1952] If I appeared a bit tiddly, then viewers were not wrong in thinking I was a bit tiddly.

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