Post by Andy Howells on Jan 15, 2016 7:36:33 GMT 12
A while back I started a feature on one of my blogs about actors treading the boards in the world of theatre, one such post featured Bill Pertwee taking part in an Old Tyme Music Hall Show back in 1966... This was obviously pre-Dads Army but Bill was still a well known name as a cast member of radio's Round the horne at the time...
Post by mingwalton on Jan 15, 2016 11:50:07 GMT 12
Hard to believe it will be 3 years in May since Bill's passing. I somehow missed this parody video in 2006 and it's nice to see it just now, proving Bill was still game for a laugh at around 80 years old.....
Post by mingwalton on Jan 15, 2016 12:14:55 GMT 12
I didn't really know anything about Bill's wife, but just found something about her life. Perhaps both having a sense of humour was one reason for a lasting marriage.....
Marion Pertwee 1928 - 2005
Marion Pertwee, whose maiden and stage name was Marion McLeod, was a leading light of numerous summer seasons and pantomimes throughout the fifties and sixties.
Born on May 15, 1928, she was the daughter of theatrical parents who had met and married when they were both appearing in a show at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. As a schoolgirl, Marion had aspirations to go into showbusiness and won medals for her dancing. Her elder brother John played the piano for her and in later years John and another brother, Norman, formed the famous broadcasting and stage act The Maple Leaf Four. Marion went on to work as a singer and dancer and with her gift for comedy was in demand for revue-style seaside shows.
In 1955 she was appearing for the producer Henry Luttman in a summer show at the Gorleston Pavilion when she met the then unknown actor Bill Pertwee, who was making his professional debut in the show. They married the same year. With encouragement from the comedian Charlie Chester they devised their own musical comedy spot and were booked into variety by the agent Evie Taylor. It was Taylor who enthusiastically helped them work out their act, have musical arrangements written, photographs taken and new costumes made. The act played in variety all over the UK. Bill later claimed: “We closed more theatres than anyone.”
By the late fifties, with variety in decline, the couple went on to individual careers in theatre, radio and television. When Marion gave up working professionally she became a director and producer for many amateur theatre companies. Sadly, ill health prevented her from working in theatre in her later years. She was a respected historian and helped Bill with several of his books including “Stars in Battledress” and “By Royal Command”: A History of the Royal Variety Show. Bill and Marion were widely regarded as one of the happiest couples in showbusiness. Bill was a devoted husband and despite his numerous television commitments he always put Marion before his own career.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 19, 2016 10:36:19 GMT 12
There was a great portrait of Bill that he showed me in his local pub - the King William IV in West Horsley - when he and I went for a beer there in 1996. It depicted Bill as Hodges and had the inscription "King Billy". It shows how much he was liked by the landlord, and it was great how the name of the pub was associated with the painting. I have a photo of it.... somewhere. I wonder if it is still there. Are there any members here local who could pop in for a look?
There was a signed picture of Bill Pertwee in the bar of the "Hog's lodge" pub and restaurant in Petersfield a few years a go, not sure if it's still there though. It's not too far away from Portsmouth.