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Sir Bruce ForsythSIR BRUCE FORSYTH CBE
22.02.1928 - 18.08.2017
Water Rat number 566
Initiated June 7th. 1959.
Born in Edmonton North London, as Bruce Joseph Forsyth Johnson, Bruce had show business aspirations from his earliest years, entering the profession as a singing, dancing accordionist aged 14... "Boy Bruce; The Mighty Atom".
Although his ambitions were temporarily thwarted by a 2 year National Service stint in the RAF, he carried on with a lengthy period at the famed Windmill Theatre where he befriended many of the U.K.'s future stars as they cut their showbiz teeth under the critical eye of the legendary proprietor, Vivian Van Damm.
Bruce moved on to the British variety circuit, initially in a double act with his first wife, Penny Calvert, but his big break came when he was given a chance to host the hugely popular T.V. show Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He was an instant hit with viewers and it made him a star, virtually overnight.
Since then, with the exception of a couple of brief spells of career doldrums, Bruce's success went from strength to strength. From starring roles in films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Star, to hosting and starring in numerous television spectaculars, and becoming the leading presenter of T.V. game shows such as The Generation Game and Play Your Cards Right, Bruce was a true "National Treasure".
It seemed he always moved with the times, whilst maintaining the profile of representing the very best of entertainment traditions. This was never more apparent than when he successfully hosted the satirical panel show Have I Got News For You in 2003 and 2010, also when he became the oldest performer ever to front a show at the Glastonbury Festival in 2013.
He won numerous awards and became known to a whole new generation when he fronted the massively popular BBC show Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 - 2013.
His second marriage was to Anthea Redfern (1973-79) and his last to Wilnelia Merced, a former Miss World winner, (from 1983). His marriages produced a total of 6 children.
Scribe Rat Mike Martin