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Bert Bernard

Blue Collar Rat


The Bernard Brothers were one of the most popular comedy variety acts of the 1940's and 1950's. Their bill matter was 'Off the Record'. Their speciality was miming and dancing to records. They were Headliners in North & South America and in Europe

Bert Bernard (Water Rat number 536) was born Herbert James Maxwell in Boston, USA. He found fame as a juvenile dancer playing the American vaudeville circuits and in musical comedies until he teamed up with George Bernard in 1932. In 1938 the Bernard Dancers appeared in the Folies Bergeres in Paris and in the same year moved to London. During WWII Bert served in the US Army Air Force and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bert & George began their miming routine as a joke at a party but it quickly became a major part of their act. At that time it was a totally novel act. But within a short time there were dozens of similar copy-cat acts. They appeared in the 1948 Royal Variety Show along with Danny Kaye, Flanagan & Allen, Ted Ray and a young Julie Andrews. They were great favourites at the London Palladium where they did many pantomimes and variety shows throughout the early Fifties. They regarded the Lido in Paris as their second home. However, their miming act came to a sudden end when record companies refused permission to use their records. They continued as comic dancers until George's death in 1968 (aged 58) when Bert returned to America where he continued to do club work for many years.

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