United Kingdom

Norman Wisdom

Norman Wisdom

(1915 – 2010)

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United Kingdom

Norman Wisdom

Norman Wisdom
(1915 – 2010)

In memory of

Norman Wisdom

(1915 – 2010)
About Norman
This is an online tribute to Norman Wisdom. Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom OBE was an English comedian, singer-songwriter and actor best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character Norman Pitkin. Charlie Chaplin famously referred to Wisdom as his "favourite clown".
He later forged a career on Broadway and as a television actor, winning critical acclaim for his dramatic role of a dying cancer patient in the television play Going Gently in 1981. He was knighted in 2000 and spent much of his later life on the Isle of Man. Norman Wisdom retired from acting at the age of 90 after his health declined.
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in the Marylebone district
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About Norman
of London. His parents were Frederick, a chauffeur and Maud Wisdom (née Targett), a dressmaker who often worked for West End theatres. The couple married in Marylebone on 15th July 1912. Norman Wisdom had an elder brother, Frederick Thomas "Fred" Wisdom. The family resided at 91 Fernhead Road, London W9, where they slept in one room.
Norman Wisdom made a series of low-budget star-vehicle comedies for the Rank Organisation, beginning with Trouble in Store in 1953. This film earned him a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Film in 1954.
Their cheerful, unpretentious appeal make them the direct descendants of the films made a generation earlier by George Formby. Never highly thought of by the critics,
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About Norman
they were very popular with domestic audiences and Norman Wisdom's films were among Britain's biggest box office successes of their day, and were successful in some unlikely overseas markets, helping Rank stay afloat financially when their more expensive film projects were unsuccessful.
The films usually involved the Gump character—Norman Pitkin—in some manual occupation, in which he is barely competent and in a junior position to a straight man, often played by Edward Chapman—Mr Grimsdale. They benefited from Norman Wisdom's capacity for physical slapstick comedy and his skill at creating a sense of the character's helplessness. The series often contained a romantic subplot; the Gump's
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About Norman
inevitable awkwardness with women is a characteristic shared with the earlier Formby vehicles.
In 1966, Norman Wisdom went to the United States to star in a Broadway production of the James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn musical comedy Walking Happy. His performance was nominated for a Tony Award.
On 31 December 1976, Norman Wisdom performed his theme song Don't Laugh At Me (Cause I'm a Fool) on BBC1's A Jubilee Of Music, celebrating British pop music for Queen Elizabeth II's impending Silver jubilee. Norman Wisdom had performed in front of the Queen at many Royal Command Performances, the first being in 1952.
On 11 February 1987 Norman Wisdom was the subject of Thames Television's This Is Your Life for
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About Norman
the second time. He became prominent again in the 1990s, helped by the young comedian Lee Evans, whose act was often compared to Norman Wisdom's work. His classic Rank films were playing to new audiences on television screens and DVD, with a growing number of new young fans in the UK and abroad. The highpoint of this new popularity was the knighthood he was awarded in 2000.
From 1995 until 2004 he appeared in the recurring role of Billy Ingleton in the long-running BBC comedy Last of the Summer Wine. The role was originally a one-off appearance, but proved so popular that he returned as the character on a number of occasions. In 1996, he became recipient of a Special Achievement Award from the London Film
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About Norman
Critics.
Norman Wisdom passed away on the 4th October 2010. This is an online memorial dedicated to his life and his career. May he rest in peace.
Remembrance Messages
On 8th Oct 2010
Ann McCallum
wrote:
A great hero of comedy has left us R.I.P Say hi to Mr Grimsdale when you get there Norman. My deepest sympathy to his family at this time. Norman will be remembered always. Deal will miss you as he shared part of his life in Kent. Goodbye Pitkin
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Norman Wisdom - tribute extract

Norman Wisdom

This is an online tribute to Norman Wisdom. Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom OBE was an English comedian, singer-songwriter and actor best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character Norman Pitkin. Charlie Chaplin famously referred to Wisdom as his "favourite clown".
He later forged a career on Broadway and as a television actor, winning critical acclaim for his dramatic role of a dying cancer patient in the television play Going Gently in 1981. He was knighted in 2000 and spent much of his later life on the Isle of Man. Norman Wisdom retired from acting at the age of 90 after his health declined.
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in the Marylebone district...

Norman Wisdom is remembered by...
Ann McCallum
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Rest in peace Norman
I first met Norman at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Norman
My fondest memory of Norman was ****
Norman used to really enjoy ****
What I will miss the most about Norman is ****
Norman inspired me to ****
Norman changed my life by ****
If I had to sum up what Norman meant to me it would be ****
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