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Sir Norman Wisdom


Born - 4 February 1915, London, England
Died - 4 October 2010

Diminutive star comedian who, after an isolated film appearance in A Date with a Dream (1948), soon formulated the persona that endeared him to millions, a little man with cloth cap, rumpled hair, wheedling tones and too-tight suits who tried too hard to become a success, frequently falling down stairs and leaving a trail of chaos in his wake. This was honed to perfection on TV, followed by a wildly successful return to films with Trouble in Store (1953), which provoked massive countrywide queues, and set Wisdom up at the Rank Organisation for a film a year, in which sentiment and song also played their part: One Good Turn (1954), at his most inventive in Man of the Moment (1955), Up in the World (1956), Just My Luck (1957), The Square Peg (1958), Follow a Star (1959), There Was a Crooked Man (1960), The Bulldog Breed (1961), On the Beat (1962), A Stitch in Time (1963) and more, in many of which he was assisted by invaluable straight men Jerry Desmonde and Edward Chapman. Later he won a BAFTA award for character acting, and there were a few more films, culminating in Five Children and It (2004), the short Expresso (2007) and Evil Calls (2008), his last. Knighted in 2000, he died following a series of strokes.