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Max Bygraves

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Years active  1949-1995
Name  Max Bygraves
Role  Singer

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Full Name  Walter William Bygraves
Born  16 October 1922 (1922-10-16) Rotherhithe, London, England
Occupation  English comedian, singer, actor and variety performer
Spouse(s)  Gladys "Blossom" Murray (1942–2011, her death)
Children  6 (three with Blossom, three from extra-marital affairs)
Died  August 31, 2012, Hope Island, Queensland, Gold Coast, Australia
Albums  Singalongamax, Sing Along With Max
Movies and TV shows  Family Fortunes, Charley Moon, A Cry from the Streets, Bobbikins, Spare the Rod

Max bygraves remember when we made those memories

Walter William Bygraves, OBE (16 October 1922 – 31 August 2012), known by the stage name Max Bygraves, was an English comedian, singer, actor and variety performer. He appeared on his own television shows, sometimes performing comedy sketches between songs. He made twenty Royal Variety Performance appearances and presented numerous programmes, including Family Fortunes.


Max Bygraves Max Bygraves dead Veteran entertainer dies aged 89 after

Max bygraves medley

Early life

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves Telegraph

Bygraves was born to Henry and Lillian (née McDonnell) Bygraves (who wed in 1919) in Rotherhithe in London, where he grew up in poverty in a two-room council flat with his five siblings, his parents and a grandparent. His father was a professional flyweight boxer, known as Battling Tom Smith, and a casual dockworker. Brought up Catholic, he attended St Joseph's School, Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, and sang with his school choir at Westminster Cathedral.

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves His spurned children travelled across the

He left school at 14, working at the Savoy Hotel in London as a pageboy, but was sacked for being too tall. He later put some of his success as a variety performer down to his lanky physique. He was (6ft 3in) but weighed only 13 stone in adult life. He then became a messenger for an advertising agency in Fleet Street, before serving as a fitter in the RAF in the Second World War and working as a carpenter. He changed his name to Max Bygraves in honour of comedian Max Miller.


Max Bygraves Tributes to Max Bygraves dead at 89 The Independent

Bygraves' catchphrase was said to be: "I wanna tell you a story". It was actually Mike Yarwood who made up that phrase, from Bygraves' "I want to tell you a joke". He portrayed the title character in the 1956 film Charley Moon. It was revealed that Bygraves had bought the past and future rights to the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! for £350 at a time when Bart was experiencing severe financial difficulties. Bygraves later sold them for £250,000.

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves Discography at Discogs

In the 1950s and '60s, Bygraves appeared as a guest on several television variety programmes both in the UK and United States. These included Ed Sullivan, Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason, in America, but his place as a broadcasting icon was founded, along with several fellow artists, by appearing as guest 'tutor', to Peter Brough's ventriloquist dummy, Archie Andrews, in the long running BBC radio show Educating Archie.

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves Free listening videos concerts stats and photos at

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1961 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews while rehearsing his new show, Do Re Mi at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre.

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves Entertainer who won the nations hearts with his songs

In 1977, UK Publishing House W. H. Allen published Bygraves's comic novel The Milkman's on His Way.

Max Bygraves Max Bygraves New Songs Playlists Latest News BBC Music

From 1983 to 1985, Bygraves hosted Family Fortunes, taking over from his friend and fellow comedian Bob Monkhouse. He would later be succeeded as host in 1987 by Les Dennis.

In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Personal life

Bygraves married WAAF sergeant Gladys "Blossom" Murray in 1942. The couple had three children: Christine, Anthony and Maxine. Bygraves also had three other children from extramarital affairs: John Rice, Beverly Mayhew-Sass and Stephen Rose.

On 9 August 1974, Bygraves became stuck on a cliff near his house in Westbourne, Bournemouth, when a kite flown by his grandson Michael became trapped beneath the edge of the cliff. He suffered friction burns on his hands and was in shock when police and firefighters helped him to safety.

In 1999, Bygraves underwent treatment for an ear disorder, having cancelled a number of performances on his doctor's advice.

Max and Blossom Bygraves moved from Bournemouth to Queensland, Australia, in 2008. She died there in 2011, aged 88.


Bygraves died on 31 August 2012, aged 89, at his home in Hope Island, Queensland, Australia, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.


  • Whack-O! (1960)
  • Jack Meets Max Bygraves (1963) The Jack Benny Program Season 13 - Episode 13
  • The Royal Variety Performance (1963)
  • It's Sad About Eddie (1964)
  • Max (1969–74)
  • Max Bygraves Says "I Wanna Tell You a Story" (1976–77)
  • Singalongamax (1978–80)
  • Max Bygraves - Side by Side (1982)
  • Family Fortunes (1983–85)
  • The Mind of David Berglas (1986)
  • Call Up the Stars (1995)
  • Against the Odds RAF Documentary (2001)
  • Partial filmography

  • All at Sea (film) /All at Sea (1943)
  • Bless 'Em All (1948)
  • The Nitwits on Parade (1949)
  • Skimpy in the Navy (1949)
  • Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951)
  • Charley Moon (1956)
  • A Cry from the Streets (1958)
  • Bobbikins (1959)
  • Spare the Rod (1961)
  • The Alf Garnett Saga (1972)
  • Albums

  • Sing Along with Max (1972) No. 4
  • Sing Along with Max Vol. 2 (1972) No. 11
  • Singalongamax Vol. 3 (1973) No. 5
  • Singalongamax Vol. 4 (1973) No. 7
  • Singalongapartysong (1973) No. 15
  • You Make Me Feel Like Singing a Song (1974) No. 39
  • Singalongaxmas (1974) No. 21
  • 100 Golden Greats (1976) No. 3
  • Lingalongamax (1978) No. 39
  • The Song and Dance Men (1978) No. 67
  • Singalongawaryears (1989) No. 5
  • Singalongawaryears Volume 2 (1989) No. 33
  • References

    Max Bygraves Wikipedia