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Don Smoothey

Past King Rat

Rat Register Number: 643, initiated 22 January 1967

Born in Fulham, attended Italia Conti Stage School, following his brother, Len Lowe (who reigned as King Rat in 1983).

Served in the British Army during World War 2, entertaining troops as a performer (double act with Len Marten) in Stars in Battledress, etc..

Entered Variety on de-mob from the Army in 1946, also performing shows such as Water Rat Ralph Reader's The Gangs All Here.

In 1950, he formed a double act with his brother, Len, (Lowe & Ladd) and they worked in many places, including Australia and New Zealand, before Len decided to concentrate on acting (in 1956) and Don carried on as a solo comedian.

Don then teamed up with Tommy Layton in another double act; Smoothey & Layton, until 1960.

Solo again, Don carried on working in numerous summer shows, pantomimes, etc..

Television work included roles in The Frankie Howerd Show, Kindly Leave the Stage, The Good Old Days and You Rang, M'Lord.

Notable work in West End theatre included playing one of the Crazy Gang in Underneath the Arches, alongside PKR Roy Hudd. In this guise, they appeared in the Royal Variety Show.

Don was immensely proud to serve as King Rat in 2001. His party piece at many Water Rat?s events and shows was his hilarious rendition of the song We're 'avin a bit Tonight! alongside his artful manipulation of his hairline!

For many years he was secretary of the Vaudeville Golfing Society and a member of the Executive Committee of the EABF.

Very much a respected member of the 'Old School', Don leaves a wonderful legacy of memories.

He survived his wife, Joan, and they produced one daughter; Janice.

Scribe Rat Mike Martin
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