Alfred Hawthorne “Benny” Hill (21 January 1924 – 20 April 1992) was an English actor, comedian, singer and writer. He is remembered for his television programme The Benny Hill Show, an amalgam of slapstick, burlesque and double entendre in a format that included live comedy and filmed segments, with Hill at the focus of almost every segment.
Hill was a prominent figure in British culture for nearly four decades. His show proved to be one of the great success stories of television comedy and was among the most-watched programmes in the UK, with the audience peaking at more than 21 million in 1971. The Benny Hill Show was also exported to half the countries around the world. He received a BAFTA Television Award for Best Writer, a Rose d’Or, and was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety. In 2006, Hill was voted by the British public number 17 in ITV’s poll of TV’s 50 Greatest Stars.
Outside of television, Hill starred in films including the Ealing comedy Who Done It? (1956), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and The Italian Job (1969). His comedy song “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)” was 1971’s Christmas number one on the UK Singles Chart, and he received an Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 1972.
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