Fyffe, Will

▪ Scottish comedian

born 1885, Dundee, Scot.
died Dec. 14, 1947, St. Andrews, Fife

      Scottish actor, music-hall entertainer, and pantomimist, one of the most popular character comedians of British stage and screen.

      As a child Fyffe toured Scotland in his father's stock company; he made his debut as Little Willie in East Lynne. A precocious actor, he played the aged Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet when only 15, after which he toured with other companies. Though his ability was considerable, he devoted himself to the music hall, going into revue with his sketches of Scottish characters—the Glasgow drunk, the village idiot, the sailor, the centenarian, the railway guard.

      Despite discouragements, Fyffe proved his mastery of the art of comic and of truly pathetic impersonation by reaching top billing when he appeared at the London Pavilion in 1921. During the 1930s he took part in a number of films, notably as the Scottish shepherd in Owd Bob. For his tireless services in entertaining troops during World War II, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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Universalium. 2010.

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