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Hawtrey was born at Slough and educated at Eton College, the fifth son and eighth of the ten children of the Rev. The cast included Ivor Barnard and Dame Lilian Braithwaite, as well as Vivien Leigh in the small part of Jessica Morton. Hawtrey also directed 19 plays, including Dumb Dora Discovers Tobacco at the Q Theatre in Richmond and, in 1945, Oflag 3, a war drama co-written with Douglas Bader. [2] In 1965, Hawtrey's mother Alice died and Hawtrey was grief-stricken and started drinking more. Or Was It the Worst? After the latter film he asked Hay to give him bigger roles, but Hay refused. The play was written by Dave Ainsworth [25], He has been the subject of two biographies: Charles Hawtrey 1914–1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle (2002) by Roger Lewis[26] and Whatshisname: The Life and Death of Charles Hawtrey (2010) by the broadcaster Wes Butters. (2000). In fact, he had passed out because he was drunk. [5] Two of Hawtrey's brothers, William and George, had also become actors, and in early 1883, Charles and William led a small touring company to towns in south-east England. [1] On 10 November 1919 Hawtrey married the Hon Mrs Albert Petre (née Katherine Elsie Clark), daughter of the Rev William Robinson Clark and widow of the youngest son of the 11th Baron Petre. Gerald Thomas, the director of the "Carry On" films explained in 1966 that "In the beginning Charles's shock entrance was an accident, but realising the potential I set out deliberately to shock and now his first appearance is carefully planned.... Apart from the comedy value of the unlikely role he plays, I'm careful to arrange the right timing for his actual appearance, so that the two factors combined surprise the audience into instant risibility. The series was created by Norman Hudis, the screenwriter for the first six Carry On films. Born in Hounslow, Middlesex, England in 1914, to William John Hartree (1885–1952) and his wife Alice Hartree (née Crow) (1880–1965) as George Frederick Joffre Hartree, he took his stage name from the theatrical knight, Sir Charles Hawtrey, whose surname was a different spelling of his own, and encouraged the suggestion that he was his son. Hawtrey acted in films from an early age, first appearing while still a child, and as an adult his youthful appearance and wit made him a foil to Will Hay's blundering old fool in the comedy films Good Morning, Boys (1937) and Where's That Fire? [11] While filming Carry On Spying (1964), in which they played secret agents, Windsor thought that Hawtrey had fainted with fright over a dramatic scene on a conveyor belt. According to Ada Coleman, head bartender at the Savoy Hotel London, Hawtrey was responsible for naming the Hanky-Panky cocktail, which she created specifically for him. Hawtrey was generous in fostering talent. Peter Rogers, the producer of the "Carry On" films and shows, said "He became rather difficult and impossible to deal with because he was drinking a lot. New Faces included the premiere of the song "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square", which quickly became a wartime favourite. British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900. Hawtrey played in Bats in the Belfry, a farce written by Diana Morgan and Robert MacDermott, which opened at the Ambassadors Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, on 11 March 1937. In Our House (1960–62) Hawtrey played a council official, Simon Willow. [10], Hawtrey pursued a career as an actor-manager, making a speciality of suave, sometimes immoral, but likable characters. Your email address will not be published. Later in that year he toured in The Colonel in a cast headed by Charles Collette. "[7] The production ran for 785 performances,[8] and Hawtrey made £123,000 from it – an enormous sum for those days. (1958) was a feature film spin-off. Required fields are marked *. His managerial career was chequered: great successes were often followed by expensive failures, and he was bankrupt several times. By the 1940s, Hawtrey was appearing on radio during Children's Hour in the series Norman and Henry Bones, the Boy Detectives (first broadcast in 1943) alongside the actress Patricia Hayes. From 1920 Hawtrey's health deteriorated. He recorded as a boy soprano and was billed as "The Angel-Voiced Choirboy" even at the age of fifteen. Hawtrey's last film was Carry On Abroad (1972), after which he was dropped from the series. He staged, "with great attention to detail",[1] about a hundred plays. [1][n 1] The play was revived in London eight times during his life. ", "Missing or Incomplete Episodes for Programme, "Charles Hawtrey: The Carry On clown who hated everyone", "Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Williams, and the cast of Carry On: what happened next? In Peter Pan at the London Palladium in 1931, Hawtrey played the First Twin, with leading parts taken by Jean Forbes-Robertson and George Curzon. He was in the first, Carry On Sergeant (1958), and more than twenty others. His later career encompassed the theatre (as both actor and director), the cinema (where he regularly appeared supporting Will Hay in the 1930s and 1940s in films such as The Ghost of St. Michael's), through the Carry On films, and television. Hawtrey used public transport to get to and from work and was once given a lift to Pinewood Studios by Laurence Olivier. A lifelong gambler, both with theatrical productions and on horseracing, to which he was addicted, he was bankrupted several times during his career. Carry on Camping (1969)as Charlie Muggins, Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968)as Pte. [citation needed] Hawtrey was a heavy smoker and drinker throughout his life and was "habitually drunk" when performing in pantomime in his later career. His recreations included playing the piano and collecting antiques. Full name. (1939). During and after the Second World War Hawtrey also appeared in the West End in such shows as Scoop, Old Chelsea, Merry England, Frou-Frou and Husbands Don't Count. Hawtrey made his first appearance on the stage in Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, as early as 1925. Later, he provided the voice of snooty Hubert Lane, the nemesis of William in the series Just William. He was a semi-professional pianist for the Armed Forces during the Second World War.[2]. It opened in March to disparaging reviews and at first played to small audiences, but Hawtrey persisted and further rewrote the play. Without batting an eyelid, Hawtrey poured a cup of tea into the bag to put out the flames, snapped the handbag shut and continued with his story. Beginning at an early age as a boy soprano, he made several records before moving on to radio. In 1957, Hawtrey appeared in a one-off episode of Laughter in Store (BBC), this time working with Charlie Drake and Irene Handl. Hawtrey liked to claim that he introduced the queueing system to the West End, to control the crowds who came to see the play, The Era (London, England), Saturday, September 30, 1899; Issue 3184. He was well received in the play, and was given valuable lessons in stagecraft from the producer: He taught me a great many elementary rules which were most helpful – such as the actions of my hands and arms, walking on the stage, holding myself as easily as I could, and above all things he would never let me put my hands in my pockets. [17] These were Burglar's Bargains (1979), A Right Royal Rip-off (1982) and The Bigger They Are (1985). [17], The later comic actor named Charles Hawtrey was no relation of Hawtrey; he was born George Hartree, and took Hawtrey's name as a stage name. Not screened in London, it ran in the Midlands[6] from 18 June to 10 September. Hawtrey's television career gained a major boost with The Army Game, in which he played the part of Private 'Professor' Hatchett. He smoked Woodbines and played cards between takes with Sid James and other members of the cast. "[20] In later years, Hawtrey would frequent local pubs, get drunk, insult people and make a general nuisance of himself, calling others in his local pub 'peasants'. (Roger Livesey starred as Petruchio and his wife, Ursula Jeans, as Katherine. [1] At the age of fourteen he became a keen follower of horse-racing, a lifelong obsession that continually disrupted his finances. [10], By this time, Hawtrey had become a regular in the "Carry On" films series. Three years later John Hawtrey left Eton to found St Michael's School, Slough; Hawtrey was educated there from 1869 to 1872, when he returned to Eton for a year, before moving to Rugby. John William Hawtrey and his first wife, Frances Mary Anne, née Procter. Had a very unusual acting style, where he would often deliver his lines directly to the camera. [19] Williams was envious of Hawtrey's acceptance of his sexuality: "He can sit in a bar and pick up sailors and have a wonderful time. [9] She accompanied him on insurance assignments and protected him when he was feeling put upon by his Uncle Sidney, who wished to but could not, dismiss his nephew. Hawtrey left the series in 1958. I had one bet and lost half-a-crown, and I have been trying for fifty years to win it back."[2]. Hawtrey cut an eccentric figure in the small town, becoming well known for promenading along the seafront in extravagant attire, waving cheerfully to the fishermen and for frequenting establishments patronised by students of the Royal Marines School of Music.[1]. Around the same time, Hawtrey directed Flora Robson in Dumb Dora Discovers Tobacco (1946). There were no children of either of his marriages. Filmed in Wales and Corsica, this adventure series featured three small brothers nicknamed Toughy, Smarty and Mouse who run away to find an uninhabited island. Spirit of Christmas Past / Angel / Convent Girl / ... Reciting Shakespeare at Audition (uncredited), Studious Youth at the Aquarium (uncredited), music: "The Sun Is Shining" - uncredited / performer: "The Sun Is Shining" - uncredited, performer: "Tip-Toe thru' the Tulips with Me" 1929 - uncredited. Of the 39 episodes transmitted, only three survive. Although the "Carry On" films made a handsome return for their producer, Peter Rogers, the cast were not well remunerated, commonly receiving a standard fee of £5,000 per film. A review in The Daily Telegraph commended Hawtrey for having "a comedy sense not unworthy of his famous name".

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