Birthday: February 25, 1934
Died At Age: 59
Sun Sign: Pisces
Born in: Stepney, London
Famous as: Comic Actor
Height: 6'7" (201 cm), 6'7" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Betty Wright
children: James Bresslaw, Jonathan Bresslaw, Mark Bresslaw, Mark Bresslaw and Jonathan Bresslaw
Died on: June 11, 1993
City: London, England
Cause of Death: Heart Attack
awards: Most Promising Newcomer Variety Club of Great Britain
Bernard Bresslaw was a British comic actor, singer and writer. He is best remembered for his performance in the ‘Carry On’ film series. As a singer, he contributed to a number of songs including “You Need Feet" and “The Teenager's Lament". Born in Stepney, London as the youngest of three sons to Jewish parents, Bresslaw developed a passion for acting after seeing performances at the Hackney Empire. He soon earned a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and eventually won a most promising actor award. In the 1960s, he joined the team of ‘Carry On’ and went on to act in over ten films of the franchise. Besides being an actor and singer, Bresslaw was also a talented author who wrote stunning poetry. A father of three sons, he was married to dancer Betty Wright from 1959 until his death in 1993.
Film & Television Career
Bernard Bresslaw appeared in several movies during the 1950s, such as ‘Blood of the Vampire’, ‘Too Many Crooks’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling’. After appearing in the sitcom ‘The Army Game’, he was cast as William Singer in ITV’s ‘Our House’. In 1964, the actor had a role in the series ‘Danger Man’. A year later, he joined the team of the ‘Carry On’ film franchise, initially appearing in ‘Carry On Cowboy’. In the ensuing years, Bresslaw featured in other ‘Carry On’ movies, such as ‘Carry On Screaming!’, ‘Carry On Doctor’ and ‘Carry On Camping’.
In 1970, Bresslaw played an angry lorry driver in ‘Spring and Port Wine’. That year, he also did the film ‘Carry On Up the Jungle’. This was followed by his performances in ‘Carry On Matron’, ‘Carry On Abroad’, ‘Carry On Girls’ and ‘Carry On Dick’. In 1975, the actor starred as Fan Choy in ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing’, a comedy flick about the robbery of a dinosaur skeleton from a museum. Two years later, he featured in Terry Gilliam’s ‘Jabberwocky’.
Following a role in ‘The Fifth Musketeer’, Bresslaw featured in the sword and sorcery adventure movie ‘Hawk the Slayer,’ which was released in 1980. Four years later, he appeared in six episodes of the series ‘Mann's Best Friends’. In 1987, he did the children’s series ‘The Book Tower’. This was followed by his role as Rabbi Hartmann in the comedy film ‘Leon the Pig Farmer’.
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Bernard Bresslaw worked with a number of theatrical companies during his stage career, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Young Vic Theatre Company. In 1987, he played Mephistopheles in the production of ‘Doctor Faustus.’ During the 1990s, he acted as the genie in the famous play ‘Aladdin’ at Theatre Royal, Newcastle. One of his last theatre performances was in ‘Twelfth Night.’
Bernard Bresslaw recorded several songs during his lifetime. His song "You Need Feet" was used in the Rutles' TV special. He had also performed other songs including “I Found a Hole", “The Teenager's Lament" and “What Do We Do in the Army?”
Family & Personal Life
Bresslaw was born on 25 February 1934 in Stepney, London. He had two siblings. He studied at Coopers' Company's School and later attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
In 1959, Bresslaw married dancer Betty Wright and fathered three sons: Jonathan, James and Mark. On 11 June 1993, the actor suffered a sudden heart attack and collapsed in his dressing room where he was getting ready for the play ‘Taming of the Shrew.’ He died immediately.