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Spike Milligan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (25) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 16 April 1918Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, British India [now India]
Date of Death 27 February 2002Rye, East Sussex, England, UK  (liver disease)
Birth NameTerence Alan Patrick Sean Milligan
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Spike was born an 'Army Brat', the son of an Irish Captain in the British Raj in India. Educated in a series of Roman Catholic schools in India and at Lewisham Polytechnic in England, he spent his formative years playing the fool and playing the trumpet in local jazz bands.

He joined the British Army himself (under protest if you believe his auto-biogs) as a conscript at the outbreak of WWII. He served in the Royal Artillery as Gunner Milligan through the North African and Italian campaigns. He got a bit too close to an exploding shell and was hospitalised with shell-shock. On his escape from army life he started his "real" work as an author and humourist.

Most famous for 'The Goon Show' with Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe (and originally Michael Bentine), these radio shows are commonly regarded as re-writing the rules of comedy (even before Monty Python). However under the pressure of writing all the scripts he suffered a breakdown and became a clinical manic-depressive.

He was fondly regarded as the last of the great British eccentrics and had written a wealth of comic poetry mainly for children, a few novels and his multi-volume auto-biography. Spike was also a keen (fanatical?) environmental campaigner.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Spouse (3)

Shelagh Milligan (1983 - 27 February 2002) (his death)
Patricia "Paddy" Ridgeway (June 1962 - 1978) (her death) (1 child)
June Marlow (1952 - 1960) (divorced) (3 children)

Trivia (25)

Son of Captain L.A. Milligan MSM RA (retd).
In 1994 was awarded a British Comedy award for Lifetime Achievement, where he famously referred to Prince Charles as a "little grovelling bastard" live on TV.
Spike and June had three children, Laura Milligan, Sean and Sile (born in 1956).
Spike and Paddy had a daughter (Jane Milligan) in 1964.
Spike had a daughter (Romany) by a Canadian journalist in 1975.
Spike had a son (James Maughan-Milligan) after an affair with Margaret Maughan in 1975.
Spike has a younger brother, Desmond Milligan.
His family came back to England in 1933 when his father was retired from the British Army in India.
Spike's parents and brother Desmond moved out to Woy-Woy, New South Wales, Australia. Spike often visited them out there.
Spike has at last been officially recognised by the establishment. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2000 New Years honours list. But because he's an Irish citizen (he refused to take the oath of loyalty when he became stateless in 1960, despite spending 7 years on active service in the British Army) he can only be awarded an honorary knighthood.
Once anonymously placed an advert in the 'lonely hearts' section of England's Private Eye magazine which said 'Wanted - rich elderly widow
  • object, murder', and got several replies.



Wrote a series of books detailing his experiences in World War Two and afterwards: "Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall", "Rommel? Gunner Who?", "Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall", "Goodbye Soldier", "Monty: My Part In His Victory", "Peace Work", "Where Have All the Bullets Gone?".
In October 1964 he appeared in "Oblomov", a play based on a book of the same name by Ivan Goncharov. The play was not a comedy, and he had intended to play his role seriously. However, the play was unsuccessful until Spike began to ab lib. After five weeks of success with the now transformed play it was renamed "Son of Oblomov", changed theaters, and continued to be a hit for several months.
Was a skilled musician, and played the trumpet and guitar professionaly during the second world war.
His poetry is strongly influenced by Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.
George Martin, the producer of The Beatles, was the best man at his second wedding.
Was a member of the Bill Hall Trio, a very successful jazz band near and after the end of WWII. While the band was touring in Yugoslavia, Spike found himself completely without money, and joined the local Communist party in order to recieve a free meal.
The inscription on his tombstone reads "Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite", which is Irish for "I told you I was ill.".
When Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick were stuck for an ending for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), it was Milligan who suggested the use of the Vera Lynn song "We'll Meet Again".
Roald Dahl had wanted Spike to play his character "Willy Wonka" on the big screen. The studio instead chose Gene Wilder.
He considered Aladdin (1992) to be the greatest film of all time.
He was awarded an Honorary Knight Bachelor in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Entertainment.
Once made out his autograph to a then unknown David Jason, which Jason treasured. Milligan later wrote the Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town for The Two Ronnies (1971), and Jason provided them (which he claims to be a master at).
While in World War II, he put on shows to pass the time with entertainment.

Personal Quotes (9)

Money couldn't buy friends but you got a better class of enemy. - Puckoon 1963
World peace could be a possibility...if it weren't for all those damned foreigners!
I don't mind dying - I just don't want to be there.
The fondest memory I have is not really of the Goons. It's of a girl called Julia with enormous breasts.
On his 62nd birthday - "Any man can be 62, but it takes a bus to be 62A"
A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.
Rik Mayall is putrid. Absolutely vile. He thinks nose-picking is funny and farting and all that. He is the arsehole of British comedy. on Rik Mayall and his kind of comedy.
[on Peter Sellers] I think his mother had gained such an incredible influence over him that he virtually abdicated his own rights to any individual personality. Finally, he had to invade other bodies to register at all. He had to inhabit, he was like a ghoul, he had to feast off somebody else! But he did it so well, it became an art. He was not a genius, Sellers, he was a freak.
He is without any talent. All he can do is small talk. The smartest thing I ever heard him say was "good morning". The moment I saw him talking, I thought "you're an idiot". The best I can wish him is an early death. (On Chris Evans)

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