Famous 20th Century British Comedians

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 1 
Rowan Atkinson
(Actor & Comedian Best Known for His Role in the Sitcom 'Mr Bean')
Rowan Atkinson
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Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: County Durham, England, United Kingdom

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson has entertained audience globally with his brilliant performance as the eponymous character in the Mr. Bean series and its film adaptations. Earlier, he established himself as a fine comedy actor with Blackadder and then went on to work in movies like Never Say Never Again, The Witches and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

 2 
Ricky Gervais
(Actor, Comedian)
Ricky Gervais
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Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 3 
Simon Pegg
(Actor)
Simon Pegg
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Birthdate: February 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brockworth, England

Simon Pegg is a British actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter. Simon Pegg achieved popularity and is best known for playing nerdy characters. Apart from being a popular actor, he is also an ardent supporter of HeForShe, a feminist campaign. In 2020, he signed an open letter urging the wealthiest to pay more tax to help fight inequality.

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 4 
Stephen Fry
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Birthdate: January 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England

One half of the famous comedy duo Fry and Laurie, Stephen Fry is an English actor and comedian. Considered a living legend by many, Stephen Fry has made major contributions to the field of entertainment and literature. An openly gay man, Fry serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community. He is also known for his charitable activities.

 5 
John Cleese
(Co-Founder of the Comedy Troupe ‘Monty Python’)
John Cleese
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Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.
 6 
Russell Brand
(Known for His Roles in the Romantic Comedy-Drama ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and ‘Arthur’)
Russell Brand
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Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grays, Essex, England, United Kingdom

British comedian and actor, Russell Brand, has had a successful career working in several stand-up comic shows, television projects and movies. He is also known to be a social activist and a political commentator. However, he has generated controversies multiple times for his divergent views, offensive behaviour and outspokenness. He has also been in the news for drug use and promiscuity.

 7 
Tracey Ullman
(Comedienne Who Introduced the Simpsons on Her Show, ‘The Tracey Ullman Show')
Tracey Ullman
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Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Slough, Berkshire, England

British-American actor Tracey Ullman began her career with sketch-comedy shows such as Three of a Kind and later had her own Fox show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured 30-second segments of The Simpsons in between, making the latter a hit, too. She rose to become the third-richest comedian from Britain.

 8 
Peter Sellers
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Birthdate: September 8, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: July 24, 1980
Best known for his Academy Award-nominated roles in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, and as Clouseau from the Pink Panther series, Peter Sellers was admired for his impeccable comic skills. He initially toured around Europe as a drummer and also participated in radio shows such as The Goon Show
 9 
Richard Ayoade
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Birthdate: June 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whipps Cross

English comedian, film director, screenwriter, and actor Richard Ayoade gained international fame for his role in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd. Even though he studied law in college, he was more interested in working in the entertainment industry. He started working as a comedian and actor in the early 2000s and has since come a long way.

 10 
Warwick Davis
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Birthdate: February 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Epsom, Surrey, England

Warwick Davis is an English actor, comedian, filmmaker, writer, and TV presenter. He is known for playing important roles in popular film series like Leprechaun, Star Wars, and Harry Potter films. Davis serves as an inspiration to those suffering from dwarfism. As the co-founder of a charity organization called Little People UK, Warwick Davis has touched the lives of many people.

 11 
Sacha Baron Cohen
(Known for Portrayal of the Fictional Satirical Characters)
Sacha Baron Cohen
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Birthdate: October 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

An English comedian, actor, writer, and director, Sacha Baron Cohen, is the creator of many fictional satirical characters, including Ali G and Borat Sagdiyev. He adopts a variety of accents and guises while playing these characters. He has been criticized for passing sexist and sexual comments. He is a mildly controversial figure and has been involved in a few lawsuits.

 12 
Steve Coogan
(Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Steve Coogan
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Birthdate: October 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Middleton
 13 
James Corden
(Comedian, Actor & Television Host Best Known as the Host of 'The Late Late Show with James Corden')
James Corden
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Birthdate: August 22, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

James Corden is a popular English television host, actor, and comedian. The winner of BAFTA Britannia Award and Tony Award, Corden was appointed Order of the British Empire for services to drama in the 2015 New Year Honours. Also known for his charitable work, Corden joined hands with the NBA to launch a fundraising campaign to benefit Feed the Children.  

 14 
Greg Davies
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Birthdate: May 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: St Asaph
 15 
Stephen Merchant
(Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Radio personality, Film actor)
Stephen Merchant
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Birthdate: November 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bristol

Known for co-writing The Office, British comedian Stephen Merchant was born to a nurse mother and a plumber father. He began his career with the radio and then stepped into stand-up comedy. Over the years, he has used his 6’7” frame to the best in his performances.

 16 
Michael Palin
(Comedian, Actor)
Michael Palin
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Birthdate: May 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Broomhill, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Member of the comedy group Monty Python, Michael Palin received a CBE in 2000. His portrayal of Ken Pile in A Fish Called Wanda earned him a BAFTA award. He ranked 30th in The Comedians' Comedian poll, was a Royal Geographical Society president, and later turned into a travel documentarian.
David Mitchell (Comedian)
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Birthdate: July 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salisbury, England
David Mitchell performs as part of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, along with Robert Webb. The duo gained fame with shows such as the BAFTA-winning Peep Show, and the sketch-comedy shows The Mitchell and Webb Situation and That Mitchell and Webb Sound. Mitchell also writes for popular dailies.
 18 
Graham Chapman
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Birthdate: January 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stoneygate, Leicester, England
Died: October 4, 1989

Graham Chapman was an English comedian, author, actor, and writer. An important member of the popular comedy group Monty Python, Chapman was also a patron of the Dangerous Sports Club. An openly gay comedian, Chapman supported gay rights throughout his life. In September 2012, a blue plaque was unveiled at The Angel pub in North London to commemorate Graham Chapman.

 19 
Dudley Moore
(Actor, Comedian and One of the Four Writer-Performers in the Comedy Revue ‘Beyond the Fringe’)
Dudley Moore
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Birthdate: April 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charing Cross Hospital, London, United Kingdom
Died: March 27, 2002
Dudley Moore was a prominent figure of the 1960s’ British satire boom. He is best known for writing the stage revue Beyond the Fringe and was also part of the sketch comedy Not Only... But Also. He delivered an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in the comedy film Arthur
Benny Hill
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Birthdate: January 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Southampton, Hampshire, England
Died: April 20, 1992

Benny Hill was an English comedian, writer, singer, and actor. Best known for his TV program The Benny Hill Show, Hill remained an important figure in British culture for almost 40 years. The show is regarded as one of the greatest British comedy programs ever. In 2006, Hill was voted one of TV's 50 Greatest Stars in an ITV poll.

 21 
Sean Lock
(Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter)
Sean Lock
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Birthdate: April 22, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chertsey
 22 
Catherine Tate
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Birthdate: May 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bloomsbury, London, England
 23 
Eddie Izzard
(Comedian, Voice actor, Stage actor, Film actor)
Eddie Izzard
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Birthdate: February 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aden, Yemen

Although best known for her surreal and digressive stand-up comedies, Eddie Izzard is also a popular film and television actor. Born as Edward John Izzard, she began her career as a street performer, eventually making her first stage appearance at the age of twenty-five, quickly drawing larger and larger audience with her stream-of-consciousness delivery, achieving fame both home and abroad.

 24 
John Oliver
(Comedian)
John Oliver
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Birthdate: April 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erdington, Birmingham, England

John Oliver is a British comedian, political commentator, and TV host whose work in the American talk show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has influenced the US culture, policymaking, and legislation since 2014; the influence has been called the John Oliver effect. Also a philanthropist, Oliver forgave a medical debt of over $15 million owed by over 9,000 people.

 25 
Matt Berry
(Actor, Screenwriter)
Matt Berry
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Birthdate: May 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bromham
 26 
Peter Serafinowicz
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Birthdate: July 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
 27 
Terry Jones
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Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: January 21, 2020
Starting his career as a comedy writer, actor-director Terry Jones later soared to fame as part of the Monty Python comedy team. An avid historian, too, he wrote several books and presented TV documentaries on the topic. In his later years, the BAFTA Cymru award winner struggled with dementia. 
 28 
Eric Idle
(Comedian)
Eric Idle
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Birthdate: March 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: South Shields

Eric Idle is best known as a former member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. He was also part of the band The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles. Idle wrote the Tony-winning musical Spamalot and also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

 29 
Mark Gatiss
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Birthdate: October 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sedgefield, County Durham, England
Mark Gatiss is best known for both writing and appearing in Doctor Who, Dracula, and Sherlock. He is also part of the comedy group The League of Gentlemen and has appeared as Tycho Nestoris in Game of Thrones. He has written the Lucifer Box novels, too.
 30 
Jennifer Saunders
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Birthdate: July 6, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, UK
 31 
Victoria Wood
(British Comedian Best Known for the Sketch Series ‘Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV')
Victoria Wood
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Birthdate: May 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prestwich, Lancashire, England
Died: April 20, 2016

Multi-talented English comedian, Victoria Wood was also an actress, lyricist, singer, composer, pianist, screenwriter, producer, and director. Wood started her career with the TV show That's Life! and established herself as one of Britain's greatest stand-up comedians. She wrote sketches, dramas, and popular sitcoms and her self-deprecating humor got her 14 BAFTA nominations of which she won four. 

 32 
Jimmy Carr
(Actor, Comedian, Television presenter)
Jimmy Carr
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Birthdate: September 15, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Jimmy Carr is one of the biggest selling live comedians of Britain. The award-winning performer is best known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats and jokes about everything from politics to sex. He has gained fame for his signature deadpan delivery, his high-pitched laughter, and his dark humor.

 33 
Richard Osman
(Television Presenter)
Richard Osman
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Birthdate: November 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: BBillericay, Essex, England, United Kingdom

Richard Osman is an English writer, television presenter, comedian, and producer. He is credited with creating the popular British TV quiz show Pointless. He is also renowned for his work as creative director of the famous TV production company Endemol UK. Also an influential writer, Richard Osman's novel The Thursday Murder Club is expected to be adapted into a film.

 34 
James Acaster
(Comedian)
James Acaster
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Birthdate: January 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kettering, Northamptonshire, England

English comedian James Acaster is best known for his shows such as The Island and We the Jury. While he initially studied music and played drums for various bands, Acaster found fame with stand-up comedy. He has penned bestsellers such as James Acaster's Classic Scrapes and also has a Netflix special.

Dawn French
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Birthdate: October 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Holyhead
Golden Rose of Montreux-winning comedian Dawn French co-created the sketch comedy series French and Saunders and the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, both with Jennifer Saunders. The BAFTA Fellowship honoree is also known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Murder Most Horrid. She has also authored a bestselling autobiography.
 36 
Sara Pascoe
(Comedian)
Sara Pascoe
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Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 37 
Ben Miller
(Film director, Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film actor)
Ben Miller
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Birthdate: February 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
 38 
Rob Brydon
(Actor, Television actor, Film actor, Comedian, Autobiographer)
Rob Brydon
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Birthdate: May 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baglan, Neath Port Talbot

Best known for his roles in Supernova and Gavin & Stacey, actor/comedian Rob Brydon dropped out of drama school to work with Radio Wales. As an impressionist, he has mimicked stars such as Sean Connery and Al Pacino. He was made an MBE for both his comedy and his charitable efforts.

 39 
Sue Perkins
(Comedian)
Sue Perkins
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Birthdate: September 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England
Sue Perkins soared to fame as part of the comedy duo Mel and Sue, with Mel Giedroyc, and co-hosted The Great British Bake Off, with her. Sue has also hosted Insert Name Here and has also authored two autobiographical works. An LGBT icon, she is dating TV host Anna Richardson.
 40 
Martin Clunes
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Birthdate: November 28, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
Martin Clunes is best known as Martin Ellingham from Doc Martin and as Gary Strang from Men Behaving Badly, winning a BAFTA for the latter. The OBE honoree has also starred in the film Shakespeare in Love, voiced Kipper the Dog in Kipper, and narrated several animal-centric documentaries.
 41 
Richard Beckinsale
(TV & Film Actor)
Richard Beckinsale
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Birthdate: July 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Carlton, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: March 19, 1979

Richard Beckinsale was an English actor remembered for playing Lennie Godber in the sitcom Porridge and Alan Moore in Rising Damp. He also loved singing and playing the guitar and enjoyed playing football in charity matches. His sudden death at the age of 31 was met with great shock. His daughters—Kate and Samantha Beckinsale— went on to become actresses.

 42 
Lee Mack
(Television actor, Autobiographer)
Lee Mack
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Birthdate: August 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southport
 43 
Caroline Aherne
(Actress Best Known for Her Performance as ‘Mrs Merton’ in the Mock Talk Show ‘The Mrs Merton Show’)
Caroline Aherne
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Birthdate: December 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: July 2, 2016
BAFTA-winning comedian Caroline Aherne is remembered for her portrayal of the character Mrs. Merton on various shows, such as Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show and The Mrs Merton Show. Fans also loved her as Denise Royle in the sitcom The Royle Family and as a narrator on Gogglebox. 
 44 
Patricia Routledge
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Birthdate: February 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, UK
 45 
Brian Blessed
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Birthdate: October 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mexborough, Yorkshire, England
Brian Blessed has voiced popular characters on shows such as Family Guy and Peppa Pig and in films such as Star Wars: Episode I. A talented stage actor, he has appeared in productions of Macbeth and Hamlet, and the original Cats. The OBE honoree is also an avid animal lover. 
 46 
Tamsin Greig
(Actress)
Tamsin Greig
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Birthdate: July 12, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Maidstone, Kent, England, UK
 47 
Peter Kay
(Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter)
Peter Kay
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Birthdate: July 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Farnworth
 48 
Bill Bailey
(Comedian)
Bill Bailey
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Birthdate: January 13, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bath, Somerset, England
 49 
Lenny Henry
(Television actor, Film actor, Comedian, Singer, Stage actor)
Lenny Henry
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Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dudley
 50 
Gemma Whelan
(Actress)
Gemma Whelan
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Birthdate: April 23, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Find out more about the greatest 20th Century British Comedians, including Rowan Atkinson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Fry, John Cleese and Ricky Gervais.