COMEDY

Dick Bentley
Australia Crest

Comedian, born Charles Walter Bentley in Melbourne on May 14th, 1907, the son of a prosperous master baker.

Learning violin, saxophone and clarinet as a boy, he established himself as a singer-comedian on the Melbourne cabaret circuit when he was in his late teens.

Moving to radio he became an ABC personality before landing a job with the BBC when he arrived in London in 1938.

He married in England and brought his new wife back to Australia when war broke out. He spent the war years entertaining the services in the south-west Pacific.

By 1947 he was one of Australia's highest paid entertainers but was still looking for a challenge in life.

He returned to London and soon found a guest spot on the radio show Navy Mixture which teamed him with he of the handlebar moustache, Jimmy Edwards together with Joy Nichols. Writers on this show were Frank Muir and Denis Norden who were to create Take It From Here in which Bentley would play the idiotic Ron Glum. This show was a huge success worldwide, making the writers and players rich and famous.

Bentley even had his image displayed in Madame Tussaud's wax-works museum.

In 1966 he returned to Australia and played a sheep drover in The Sundowners, starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. He also appeared in the Private Life Of Barry McKenzie with Barry Humphries and Barry Crocker.

In the 50s his show And So To Bentley had newcomer Peter Sellers as second billing.

Bentley retired in 1973 after making Bazza McKenzie, spending his time watching cricket and gardening.

His wife Peta died of cancer in 1989 and in 1995, August 27th and aged 88, Bentley passed away in hospital where he had been admitted suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.


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