Benny Hill

69Benny_HillAlfred Hawthorne “Benny” Hill (21 January, 1924 – 19 April, 1992) was an English comedian, actor and singer, notable for his long-running television programme The Benny Hill Show.
Benny Hill’s film credits include parts in nine films including Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), in which he played the relatively straight role of the Toymaker; The Italian Job (1969); and, finally, a clip-show film spin-off of his early Thames shows (1969–73), called The Best of Benny Hill (1974). Hill’s audio recordings include “Gather in the Mushrooms”,1985ibag-bennyhill (1961), “Pepys Diary”, (1961), “Transistor Radio” (1961), “Harvest of Love” (1963), “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (1971). He also appeared in the 1986 video of the song “Anything She Does” by the band Genesis. Hill’s song, “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. A link to the lyrics is provided in the External Links section of this article.
Hill only had a few “friends”, although colleagues insist he was never lonely but content with his own company. He never married, although he did propose to two women — one the daughter of a British writer — but was rejected by both. Although he owned the family home in Southampton he never owned his own home in London, nor a car, preferring to rent, first a large double apartment in Queensgate, London, for 26 years until 1986, and then a small flat in Teddington, within walking distance of the studios of Thames Television where he taped his shows. His benny-hill-show.1238870773mother died in 1976 aged 82 and Benny kept the family house at 22 Westrow Gardens in Southampton as a shrine to her, not changing anything. Before his move to Teddington, whilst looking for somewhere else to live in the Richmond area of London, he lived at 22 Westrow Gardens. Travelling was the luxury he permitted himself. Hill became a first-degree Francophile, enjoying frequent visits to Marseille. Until the 1980s, he could enjoy anonymity in France’s outdoor cafés, public transport, and socialising with local women. Besides mastering French, Hill could get by speaking German, Dutch and Italian in his travels. Hill’s overseas holidays were often gathering missions for comedy material, some inspired by foreign surroundings, or borrowed from regional acts. Hill was a distant relative of the Australian actress and singer Holly Valance (Hill’s cousin was Valance’s grandfather).