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Sir Norman Wisdom obituary

5 October 2010 10:25 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Knockabout clown in the music hall tradition who found enormous success in the cinema

Engulfed by helpless, gurgling mirth, Norman Wisdom would subside to the ground as if suddenly rendered boneless: it needed someone only to look at him to make him fall down. Often, the person looking at him – and sternly, at that – was Jerry Desmonde, doyen of variety straight men, who represented the figure of authority in many of Wisdom's hugely successful film farces of the 1950s and 1960s.

Wisdom, who has died aged 95, was almost the last in a great tradition of knockabout, slapstick clowns, a performer who relied less on words than on an acrobatic physical dexterity to gain his laughs. He was usually derided or ignored by the serious critics, but in his day he was adored by the public, and because of its nature his craft travelled well – he was immensely popular in many other countries, »

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Sir Norman Wisdom obituary

5 October 2010 10:25 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Knockabout clown in the music hall tradition who found enormous success in the cinema

Engulfed by helpless, gurgling mirth, Norman Wisdom would subside to the ground as if suddenly rendered boneless: it needed someone only to look at him to make him fall down. Often, the person looking at him – and sternly, at that – was Jerry Desmonde, doyen of variety straight men, who represented the figure of authority in many of Wisdom's hugely successful film farces of the 1950s and 1960s.

Wisdom, who has died aged 95, was almost the last in a great tradition of knockabout, slapstick clowns, a performer who relied less on words than on an acrobatic physical dexterity to gain his laughs. He was usually derided or ignored by the serious critics, but in his day he was adored by the public, and because of its nature his craft travelled well – he was immensely popular in many other countries, »

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2 items from 2010


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