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Benny Hill

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Comedian Benny Hill

Like many of you, I grew up as a big fan of Benny Hill and his show. Benny, whose name at birth was Alfred Hawthorn Hill, was born in United Kingdom in 1925. Hill enjoyed a long run (40 years) as one of the most recognizable comedic faces on British television with his hilarious program, The Benny Hill Show.

Public domain photo courtesy curse.com

Hill Query

Early Life

Hill was born on January 21, 1924, in Southampton, the largest city on the south coast of England. Early on, Hill expressed an interest for the theater and performing, but struggled to find his niche. After a stint in the military in World War II, and odd jobs such as a bridge operator and drummer, "Benny" (the name he would adopt after his comedic hero Jack Benny) finally got a foot in the door of the entertainment industry by becoming an assistant stage manager in the late 1940s.

Television and Film Career

After some radio work, Hill finally got his first television job in 1949. Benny would work on and off in T. V. until his big break in 1955 with The Benny Hill Show, which would run in various forms for the next forty years. His show, which was largely based on sketches, slapstick routines and silent film type comedy and sight gags, was aired in over 140 countries.

Hill would also have a somewhat successful foray into the world of film, appearing in seven movies between 1956 and 1977. Hill even recorded a hit record with his single, "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)," on the Best of Benny Hill album made the UK chart as Christmas number one single in 1971.

Later Years and Legacy

Following an amazingly long run on British television, The Benny Hill Show, was canceled in 1989, but thanks to cable T. V., his popularity did not suffer. Hill's last appearance on T. V. would be in 1991, when he was the subject of a BBC documentary.

Hill was found dead in his South West London flat on April 21, 1992, although the day of his exact death will always be in question, the cause was a heart attack. Benny hill a lifelong bachelor, was laid to rest in Hollybrook Cemetery near his birthplace in Southampton.

Benny Hill will always be remembered for his long run with The Benny Hill Show, which is still shown worldwide in syndication today. Hill should also be remembered as a groundbreaking performer, who, while writing his own material, pushed the envelope of comedy with his racy, unconventional style.

Benny Hill Links

Benny Hill - Golden Greats DVD

Benny Hill: Golden Classics DVD

Benny Hill Quote

"That's what show business is, sincere insincerity." - Benny Hill

Quote via Wikiquote

Benny Hill DVDs at Amazon

Have Any Input on Benny? - Feel free to leave your thoughts here. Thanks!

Cyberspace LM on January 01, 2013:

Benny was the man! Thanks for visiting my lenses!

anonymous on February 15, 2011:

benny hill always made me laugh blessed by a squid angel :)

Tonie Cook from USA on November 02, 2010:

This was one of my favorite comedy programs of all time.

justholidays on October 27, 2009:

British humour again and forever! My favorite British actor; he was so talented and creative! I too grew up watching his shows on TV althought the French translation wasn't always happy, the show is still one of my favorites!

Thanks for this lens.

Dom.

clembob on May 13, 2009:

I too love Benny Hill. I grew up watching Hill and the Monty Python shows

anonymous on April 09, 2009:

Love Benny, I was so glad that the US and Canada took him to their hearts especially when Britain, after decades of laughing at the man, turned against him. Ah PC it is a dangerous thing.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on February 07, 2009:

Benny Hill was sent to Bournemouth during WWII to avoid the German air raids on Southampton. I added this as a featured lens on my Bournemouth lens.

Sniff It Out on October 22, 2008:

Nice lens, Benny Hill was a very funny comedian :) 5***** and lensrolled to my Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) lyric lens

triathlontraini1 on August 01, 2008:

I love British humor, and he was one of the best. :)

Robin S from USA on June 27, 2008:

Love Benny! Great tribute lens to a very funny guy!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on June 25, 2008:

I loved Benny Hill. He is still funny, even today. I passed him in the street once at Oxford Circus in London. 5***** for a nice tribute lens.

SherryHolderHunt on June 24, 2008:

Benny Hill was hilarious! 5*s