Larry Grayson Biography


Birth Date And Real Name Of Larry Grayson

British Comedian Larry Grayson was born William White in Banbury on the 31st August 1923. His mother, Ethel, was unmarried and put him up for adoption. He was adopted into the mining family of Alice and Jim Hammond and their daughters Flo and May when he was ten days old. They lived in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Unfortunately his adopted mother, Alice, died six years later. He was brought up by his adopted sister Flo, who Larry would call Mum. They became very close.

Jobs of Larry Grayson

The first and only non acting job Larry Grayson had was in a shoe shop - he only lasted 2 days! He then turned to acting which he had been doing from an early age when he would perform shows for family and friends.

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This saw him perform regularly at local working mens clubs. He would perform a drag act in the first act and then come back in the second performance as himself. He was so successful that few people knew it was him dressed in woman's clothing in the first act! His stage name was Billy Breen.

How Larry Grayson Got His Stage Name

He soon acquired an agent, Eve Taylor. She wanted him to change his stage name and suggested Larry and he added the surname Grayson which came from the singer Kathryn Grayson, star of Kiss Me Kate, who he liked.

TV Work Of Larry Grayson

Larry continued to work in clubs across the Midlands and England until he was spotted by Michael Grade during a performance in London and he became his new manager. Television appearances soon followed and Larry had his first show called Shut That Door - which later he adopted as a catch phrase. This variety and camp comedy show earned him the award of Britainís Funniest Man in the TV Times awards.

Larry did more shows for ITV, his most popular characters were Apricot Lil, Slack Alice and Everard.

In 1975 Larry made a cameo appearance as a chauffeur during the wedding of character Meg Richardson in the soap opera Crossroads. The actress who played Meg, Noele Gordon, was one of Larry's closest friends.

Larry Grayson The Generation Game

In 1978 Larry moved to the BBC to present The Generation Game which had been hosted by Bruce Forsthye. He worked with Scottish folk singer Isla St Clair and formed one of the most successful and endearing TV duos of the decade. The show became so popular on Saturday nights that it was renamed to Larry Graysonís Generation Game. His most famous catchphrases were What A Gay Day, Shut That Door, What Are The Scores On The Doors, Seems Like A Nice Boy and Didn't They Do Well.

In 1981 Larry retired from The Generation Game and show business and moved back to Nuneaton, though he still did the occassion work and show such as for theatre or in pantomime.

On the 26th August 1983 ITV screened a tribute to Larry Grayson to mark his 60th birthday. It featured many of his fellow stars and was called At Home With Larry Grayson.

The Last Performance of Larry Grayson

The final appearance of Larry Grayson was at the 1994 Royal Variety Performance. His last words were his catchphrase - Shut That Door!

When Did Larry Grayson Die

Larry Grayson died on the 7th January in 1995 in Nuneaton. He was aged 71.

In 2000 The Unforgettable Larry Grayson appeared on TV and paid tribute to this much missed comic.

More celebrity obituaries and biographies.

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