Tommy Trinder joins Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, and Max Miller as was one of Britain's most popular entertainers in World War Two. Tommy Trinder was a comedian who kept Britain’s spirits up during World War Two.
Born on 24 March 1909, Tommy Trinder showed a talent for performing from a young age and at 12 years old he was already onstage. He was known for his wit and in 1937 he found nationwide success as a stand-up comedian with the acts “Tune In” and “Town to-night”.
Trinder also starred in films during the war, his most popular being “Sailors Three”. The film was warmly received by wartime audiences so the bosses at Ealing Studios gave him more and more roles. In "Bells Go Down", Trinder played the role of a firefighter in the Auxiliary Fire Service in war-torn London during the Blitz. His character was part of a brace dedicated team of volunteers who constantly risked their lives in the burning streets of the city. These films proved Trinder’s talent as an actor as well as a comedian.
Trinder was still popular after the war. In 1955, he became the first compere for the new ITV television programme Sunday Night at the London Palladium. In the 1950s he had a glittering television career. In his later years, Tommy Trinder starred onstage in cabarets and pantomimes.
However, offstage Trinder had a reputation for being ungenerous and egotistical. Pat Kirkwood, his co-star in Save a Little Sunshine (1938), thought him "rude and insulting and downright nasty". According to his biographer, Patrick Newley, Trinder's first wife grew to dislike him so much that she refused to laugh at his jokes.
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.
Tommy Trinder died aged 80 in 1989.
See also: Max Miller
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