Comedians connected with Kent!
Clive Dunn was born in 1920, the child of theatrical parents who toured. He was sent to boarding school at Sevenoaks School when he was just nine, being the youngest boy in the school and two years younger than any others. His friends at the school called him 'Buddy Dunn'.
Clive’s cousin was the actress Gretchen Franklin who for years played Ethel Skinner in Eastenders.
Clive played the oldest guardsman in Dad's Army but was actually one of the younger of the cast. He was 48 when he took the role of the 70 year old.
Sir Norman Wisdom was brought up for part of his childhood in Deal.
He endured a difficult early life. Norman was born in London in 1915, his brother having been born three years earlier—born just five months after their parents had married. Sadly, it was not a happy home, and the two boys were not treated well. After their parents parted, the boys were left to fend for themselves. Norman was brought to a children’s home in Deal where he was cared for. He had natural musical talent and when he entered the army, his skill as an entertainer really developed. Charlie Chaplin described Sir Norman as “his favourite clown”.
During the many tours of Morecambe and Wise Eric met a dance girl called Joan Bartlett and announced that she was the girl he would marry. He did marry her, she being the daughter the landlord of The Bull's Head Hotel in Margate.
Joan had won Miss Margate in the 1951 Miss Kent Beauty Competition. On 11th December 1952 they held their wedding reception in the first floor function room. They shared a happy marriage for 32 years with three children, until Eric passed away in 1984.
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