Tommy Trinder

Last updated

Tommy Trinder
Tommy Trinder.jpg
Born
Thomas Edward Trinder

(1909-03-24)24 March 1909
Streatham, London, England
Died10 July 1989(1989-07-10) (aged 80)
Chertsey, Surrey, England
OccupationComedian

Thomas Edward Trinder CBE (24 March 1909 – 10 July 1989), known as Tommy Trinder, was an English stage, screen and radio comedian of the pre- and post-war years whose catchphrase was 'You lucky people!'

Contents

Life

Tommy Trinder was born at 54 Wellfield Road, Streatham, South London (a plaque from the Streatham Society marks the spot), on 24 March 1909, the son of Thomas Henry Trinder, a London tram driver from Shilton, Oxfordshire, and his wife Jennie Georgina Harriet Mills.

He left school early for a job as an errand boy, but by the age of 12, was on stage. He toured South Africa with a revue company in 1921 and appeared as a boy vocalist at Collins' Music Hall the following year. Minor successes in music hall, revues and working men's clubs followed. By 1926, aged 17, Trinder was the star of Archie Pitt's travelling variety comedy shows.

National recognition began to come in 1937 with the revues Tune In and In Town Tonight . By the time of the Second World War he was one of Britain's foremost entertainers (a position he would maintain until the 1960s) and his shows brought welcome relief during the darkest days of the war.

Trinder with Jean Colin during the making of Communal Kitchen: Eating Out With Tommy Trinder for the Ministry of Information in 1941 Tommy Trinder and Jean Colin.jpg
Trinder with Jean Colin during the making of Communal Kitchen: Eating Out With Tommy Trinder for the Ministry of Information in 1941

Ealing Studios signed him up to films during the war. His most famous was the comedy Sailors Three in which he, Claude Hulbert and Michael Wilding capture a German pocket battleship.

He also took straight acting parts in The Foreman Went to France , The Bells Go Down (a tribute to the work done by firemen in London during the Blitz); and Bitter Springs about a family fighting to make a new life in the Australian Outback.

He is believed to have originated "Trinder's Impossibility"[ citation needed ] – a "bar bet" where the mark is presented with a ten shilling note, partly torn through in two places at right angles to the long side and challenged to hold the two corners of the torn edge and tear it into three pieces. It cannot be done.

After the war, as a national figure he was soon recruited to television. From 1955 to 1958, he was the original compere for ITV television programme Sunday Night at the London Palladium .

"He would begin his act with, 'The name's Trinder. That's T-R-I-N-D-E-R, pronounced Chumley.' This witticism was a gentle dig at the snobs of society, who insisted on pronouncing ordinary names in a fancy way which was utterly un-phonetic." [1]

He lived in an Art Deco-style apartment block – Du Cane Court, in Balham, south-west London – the largest such under one roof in Europe in the 1930s. He moved in with Violet Trinder ( née Bailey; they had married in 1932) in 1939, and was still there in 1955. A neighbour described an impromptu encounter she had with him in which her silk scarf had covered her features. He said: "One should never hide a pretty face." [1] His second marriage was to Gwyn (Toni) Lancelyn Green. He moved to a large private estate, Burwood Park in Hersham, Surrey, calling the house "Tiverly". He is buried in Burval Cemetery, which is close by to where he lived.

He hosted his own television series, Trinder Box on the BBC in 1959. He was the subject of This Is Your Life in May 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

He was a lifelong devoted supporter of Fulham Football Club and was chairman of the club between 1959 and 1976.

He was a proud and active member of the exclusive entertainment fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats, serving two non-consecutive terms as its "King Rat" in 1963 and 1965, respectively. He was also President of the Lord's Taverners cricketing charity in 1956.

In 1979 he appeared in an edition of The Old Boy Network, doing his stand-up routine and presenting a condensed history of his life and career.

Using a wheelchair after a stroke in 1986, he made his final television appearance in I Like The Girls Who Do recalling his contemporary Max Miller.

Always a favourite with the Royal family (he made six appearances in Royal Variety Performances between 1945 and 1980), he was appointed a CBE in 1975. He died on 10 July 1989.

A biography by Patrick Newley, You Lucky People! – The Tommy Trinder Story, was published in 2008 (Third Age Press).

Filmography

Related Research Articles

Streatham Human settlement in England

Streatham is a district mostly in the London Borough of Lambeth in Greater London, but with some areas to the west stretching out into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth, and some areas to the south stretching out into the neighbouring London Borough of Croydon. It is centred 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Leslie Phillips English actor

Leslie Samuel Phillips is an English actor known for his work in the Carry On, Doctor in the House, and Harry Potter film series, as well as the long-running BBC radio comedy series The Navy Lark. With the passing of Heather Chasen on 22 May 2020, Phillips is now the only surviving regular cast member from the latter series.

John Mills British actor

Sir John Mills, was an English actor who appeared in more than 120 films in a career spanning seven decades. He excelled on camera as an appealing British everyman who often portrayed guileless, wounded war heroes.

Gordon Jackson (actor) Scottish actor (1923-1990)

Gordon Cameron Jackson, was a Scottish actor best remembered for his roles as the butler Angus Hudson in Upstairs, Downstairs and as George Cowley, the head of CI5, in The Professionals. He also portrayed Flt. Lt. Andrew MacDonald, "Intelligence", in The Great Escape.

Frankie Vaughan English traditional pop music singer

Frankie Vaughan was an English singer and actor who recorded more than 80 easy listening and traditional pop singles in his lifetime. He was known as "Mr. Moonlight" after one of his early hits.

Kenneth Connor English actor

Kenneth Connor, was a 20th century English stage, film and broadcasting actor, who rose to national prominence with his appearances in the Carry On films.

Sam Kydd British actor

Samuel John Kydd was a Northern Irish-born British actor. His best-known roles were in two major British television series of the 1960s, as the smuggler Orlando O'Connor in Crane and its sequel Orlando, and as a recurring character in Coronation Street. His first film was The Captive Heart (1946), where he played a POW. He made over 240 films, more than any other British actor, including 104 between 1946 and 1953.

Bobby Howes actor

Bobby Howes was a British entertainer who was a leading musical comedy performer in London's West End theatres in the 1930s and 1940s.

Robert Earl was an English singer of traditional pop music in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and 1960s, whose style was operatic, like fellow crooners David Whitfield, David Hughes and Edmund Hockridge. He is the father of the businessman Robert Earl.

Alfred Burke English actor

Alfred Burke was an English actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Frank Marker in the drama series Public Eye, which ran on television for ten years.

Sonnie Hale actor, director, screenwriter

Sonnie Hale was an English theatre and cinema actor and director.

Dave Willock Character actor (1909-1990)

David Willock was an American character actor. Willock appeared in 181 films and television series from 1939 to 1989.

Tommy Noonan American actor, screenwriter and producer

Tommy Noonan was a comedy genre film performer, screenwriter and producer. He acted in a number of high-profile films as well as B movies from the 1940s through the 1960s, and he is best known for his supporting performances as Gus Esmond, wealthy fiancé of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and as the musician Danny McGuire in A Star Is Born (1954). He played a stock room worker in the film Bundle of Joy (1956) with Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Harry Watt was a Scottish documentary and feature film director, who began his career working for John Grierson and Robert Flaherty. His 1959 film The Siege of Pinchgut was entered into the 9th Berlin International Film Festival.

<i>The Foreman Went to France</i> 1942 film by Charles Frend

The Foreman Went to France is a 1942 British Second World War war film starring Clifford Evans, Tommy Trinder, Constance Cummings and Gordon Jackson. It was based on the real-life wartime exploits of Welsh munitions worker Melbourne Johns, who rescued machinery used to make guns for Spitfires and Hurricanes. It was an Ealing Studios film made in 1941 with the support of the War Office and the Free French Forces. All of the 'heroes' are portrayed as ordinary people caught up in the war.

Sailors Three is a 1940 British war comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Tommy Trinder, Claude Hulbert and Carla Lehmann. This was cockney music hall comedian Trinder's debut for Ealing, the studio with which he was to become most closely associated. It concerns three British sailors who accidentally find themselves aboard a German ship during the Second World War.

<i>You Lucky People</i> 1955 film by Maurice Elvey

You Lucky People is a 1955 British comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Tommy Trinder, Mary Parker and Dora Bryan. Originally titled Get Fell In, the film was renamed to match Trinder's familiar catchphrase. It was shot in a rival French process to CinemaScope, called 'CameraScope', with the attendant publicity describing "the first feature to be made with an anamorphic lens in black and white! It's a camerascoop!".

Ian Wilson (actor) British actor (1901-1987)

Ian Macrae Hamish Wilson was an English small role actor who appeared in over 145 films during his career. Most were small uncredited roles often playing meek public servants, professional men or busy bodies. Film appearances included The Plank 1967, The Day of the Triffids 1962, Carry On Jack 1963, Two-Way Stretch 1960, Hell Drivers 1957, The Ugly Duckling 1959 and Rotten to the Core 1965. His first film appearance was in the silent A Master of Craft in 1922, and his last was in The Wicker Man in 1973. Several of his films were made by the Boulting brothers, who considered him a "good luck charm." Wilson died in December 1987 in Devon.

This is a summary of 1940 in music in the United Kingdom.

Robert Ellis was an American child actor in the 1940s and 1950s, who was the last actor to play Henry Aldrich on the radio series The Aldrich Family.

References

  1. 1 2 Vincent, Gregory K. (2008). A history of Du Cane Court: land, architecture, people and politics. Woodbine. ISBN   0-9541675-1-1.

2. Lew Grade Biography (1906–1998) – Jump Up. Film Reference. Retrieved 12 August 2017.