Friday, October 22, 2010


Sir Norman Wisdom (1915 – 2010) is one of our favourite film stars.

When Norman Wisdom was a child, the family all slept in one room, in their house in London.

Norman Wisdom's father, Frederick, was a drunk.

Frederick sometimes beat little Norman "so savagely that his head hit the ceiling before he crashed." (Norman Wisdom)

Frederick threw Norman out of the house.

Norman, still just a boy, had to sleeep rough and steal to eat.

According to Wikipedia:

"After a period in a children's home in Deal, Kent, Wisdom ran away when he was 11 but returned to become an errand boy in a grocer's on leaving school at 13.

"In 1929, he walked (by his own account) to Cardiff, Wales, where he became a cabin boy in the Merchant Navy."

He also worked as a coal miner, waiter, page boy, soldier, driver and telephone operator.

In 1946, Norman Wisdom became a professional entertainer, and eventually rich, popular and famous.


aferrismoon said...

Nice one!


Anonymous said...

Thanks the gods, I read this expecting some murky secret life.

Thankfully not, a true gent and star. We need to celebrate the good as well as the bad.


Ian Leslie said...

Many thanks for this "little" tribute. The guy was top class and will be remembered with much affection.

Thank you Aangirfan

Anonymous said...


A lovely man, a great comedian god bless you sleep tight

Anonymous said...

As a lad in the late 50's-early 60's I moonlighted at The Garrick Theatre and the Mermaid after school, and met all the stars, the foreign ones too.

The Garrick, being central and run by 'a lefty', Bernard Miles, was the favourite watering-hole for the stars and agents and such-like (the truth is the tea and cake were FREE!)

So one day I met Norman Wisdom.

He was indeed the nice and gentle man we all know and love.

He talked little of his early life, though we did know what aangirfan has recounted here. But he was surrounded by people who had similar experiences and there was quiet talk that he'd seen more than his fair share of the seamy side of life. There was a lot of that in showbiz too, one of the reasons many of the lesser-lights gathered there, to support each other.

I never found out if Norman was married. He certainly didn't date the myriad of dancing-girls who abounded - I did instead! I've never heard any talk about a family, not even now. But, recalling the quiet talk, I can imagine he found it hard to relate on an intimate basis after the possible abuse he suffered.

Despite any of that he had a good life once he found himself.

A great talent.

Anon said...

Norman Wisdom was married twice. His first wife was Doreen Brett, whom he married in 1941 and with whom he had one son, Michael, born in 1945; the marriage was dissolved in 1946. He married his second wife, Freda Isobel Simpson, a dancer, in 1947; they had two children: Nicholas (born 1953, who later played first-class cricket for Sussex) and Jacqueline (born 1954). The couple divorced in 1969 and Wisdom was granted full custody of the children. Freda Wisdom died in Brighton in 1992.

Anonymous said...

...I stand corrected with head hung in shame....

I know lots of things, but do make mistakes at times. But I still can't recall him ever mentioning a family. He'd have been a good dad!

Still got divorced twice, though, there has to be a reason.

May I wish all a nice Xmas and a not too austere New Year (the cuts are coming!)

Anon said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

And many thanks for all the comments.

They are much appreciated.

- Aangirfan

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