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Bob Monkhouse Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (9) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 1 June 1928Beckenham, Kent, England, UK
Date of Death 29 December 2003Eggington, Bedfordshire, England, UK  (prostate cancer)
Birth NameRobert Alan Monkhouse
Nickname The thief of bad gags.
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of British TV's most popular performers with a career that spanned over four decades, funny-man Bob Monkhouse started off as a radio broadcaster (1947) and stand-up comic. He earned success early on as a gag writer, partnering with Denis Goodwin.

In 1953, the duo won their own TV show called Fast and Loose (1954), which was sketch-comedy based. A nightclub comedian to boot, he also pursued films on occasion appearing in such slapstick dillies as Carry on Sergeant (1958), Dentist in the Chair (1960), Dentist on the Job (1961) and A Weekend with Lulu (1961). But TV would be his prime venue, and he moved quite easily into various parlor game and variety show hosting duties.

For Love or Money (1959) was his first, a Brit version of "Candid Camera". Along the way, he found emceeing chores with The London Palladium Show (1966), The Golden Shot (1967) (which made him a household name), Celebrity Squares (1975) (based on The Hollywood Squares (1965)), Family Fortunes (1980), "The $64,000 Question", Opportunity Knocks (1956), The National Lottery (1994), and many others. Monkhouse died in 2003 of prostate cancer.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Jacqueline Harding (4 October 1973 - 29 December 2003) (his death)
Elizabeth Thompson (5 November 1949 - 1972) (divorced) (3 children)

Trivia (22)

Comedian
Vocal supporter of the Conservative Party for many years.
Married twice, with three children from his first wife: Gary, Simon and adopted daughter Abigail Williams.
Attended Dulwich College
Two of his three children had predeceased him. His son Gary, who had cerebral palsy, died in 1992. His other son, Simon, died in a Bangkok hotel room from a heroin overdose in 2001. Father and son had been estranged for almost a decade.
Much in demand up until his death as an after-dinner speaker.
First port-of-call for American comedians visiting London, starting with Bob Hope, when they wanted topical gags.
Wrote material for many famous comedians including Bob Hope.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to entertainment and charity.
A movie buff and collector of many rare films. Was particularly fond of the horror genre and was very knowledgeable on the subject. Once said that his favorite film was Vincent Price's Dragonwyck (1946). He was also Honorary President of the long running Gothique Film Society during the 1960s and 1970s.
Bob died of prostate cancer in 2003. Yet in 2007 he made a "comeback", appearing in a new TV campaign advertising a prostate cancer charity. The ad, made with the blessing of his widow, blends footage of Monkhouse with that of a body double then adds CGI manipulation of his face to match what is being spoken by a sound-alike.
He was a collector of the illustrations of Frank Bellamy and had a room displaying his artwork.
Was the original choice for the cameo role of the Tollmaster (eventually taken by his comic contemporary Ken Dodd) in Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen: Part One (1987).
A guest at the Royal Variety Performance in 1986.
A skilled cartoonist, he would do caricatures of co-workers.
Owned a vast house, and because he was an art lover, he had a cinema in his basement where he screened silent movie reels from his collection. He had a deep respect for the physical comedy of the silent stars, but was frustrated that he couldn't perform it himself. He was said to be a student of comedy, which was why he liked collecting it.
He was an early adopter of new technologies.
His role of the barber in Secret People (1952) was much bigger but a lot of it was cut due to the film being too long.
He and Leslie Phillips swapped roles in Weekend With Lulu (1961).
Was originally scheduled for either Stanley Baxter's or Leslie Phillips' roles in The Fast Lady (1963).
He was scheduled for a role in Up the Junction (1967) but had to drop out due to commitments.
His filmed role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) ended up on the cutting room floor.

Personal Quotes (9)

Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional.
As a comic, you need every wrinkle. Having a facelift would be like asking a tap dancer to have his feet lopped off. - Birmingham Evening Mail (UK) 25 September 1993
I'm rather relaxed about death. From quite an early age I've regarded it as part of the deal, the unwritten guarantee that comes with your birth certificate. - Birmingham Evening Mail (UK) 25 September 1993
When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they're not laughing now.
Next Thursday at the polls, it won't just be Bob it'll be Britain saying Opportunity Knocks (1956). And if we put Maggie (Margaret Thatcher) back in for the third time we'll all be winners. (During the 1987 general election campaign)
I was in Rome recently, and they say "when in Rome, do as the Romans do", so I drove like a bloody maniac!
Silence is not only golden, it is seldom misquoted.
I'm not saying my wife's a bad cook, but she uses a smoke alarm as a timer.
When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did - in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Salary (1)

Carry on Sergeant (1958) £1,500

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