Sir Norman Joseph Wizdom (born Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom, February 4, 1915, London – October 4, 2010, Isle of Man) is an English comedian. Also known as a composer, producer and screenwriter.
Born February 4, 1915. His father was a cockney taxi driver. The father was a drunkard-brawler, divorcing, in 1924 drove his nine-year-old son into the street. Norman wandered, lived with his guardians for a while. Then he was hired as a servant to the captain of a merchant ship. He worked as a porter and a miner. In 1930 (at age 15), the hussar became a drummer in the Tenth Royal Regiment. Together with the regiment he was in India. In India, learned to play the trumpet and clarinet. At the same time, he became the champion of the Indian contingent of the British army in boxing in feather weight.
His acting debut took place in 1946. The actor began to work as a universal eccentric in the music hall. Very well, he managed comedic characters in various vaudeville. His comedic abilities were noticed and invited to a television studio. After participating in a number of television shows, Wizdom left for the United States, where he successfully performed in the Vaudeville television program for a year.
In the movie, Norman made his debut in 1948 (“Date with a Dream”). Since 1958, Wizdom has been known as a screenwriter (“Mr. Pitkin Behind Enemy Lines”), and in 1969 acted as a producer (“What is Good for a Goose”). In 1953, Norman Wizdom wrote the song “Don’t laugh at me” for the film “Trouble in the Shop,” which later became his “calling card”. The most famous actor brought a comic hero created by him – Mr. Pitkin, who appeared in four films. Subsequently starred in television series. Despite his advanced age, Norman Wizdom continued to perform on stage, touring with his show.
He created the image of Mr. Pitkin – a little man, captivating, simple-hearted and in kindness, and in cowardice, and in everyday frivolity, who, having broken wood, cries out hysterically and hysterically, “Mr. Grimsdale!”, Calling for the help of the chief mayor. Despite accusations of old-fashionedness, he kept traditions dating back to silent comedy using eccentric humor and exaggerated facial expressions. Norman Wizdom said: “My comedies are for children from 3 to 93 years old.”
Norman Wizdom was Charlie Chaplin’s favorite clown.
At 90, he played in the video of young punks from the Isle of Man – “Twisted Angels”. Performances on television and in a cabaret he left just six months before his death.
The famous actor died on October 4, 2010 at the 96th year of his life in the Nursing Home on the Isle of Man in the UK. According to the son of the actor, the cause of his death was a heart attack. In recent years, he suffered several heart attacks.
– During the Second World War, the actor served as a telephone operator in the bunker of Winston Churchill. Once an angry Churchill came to the control room to find out what kind of idiot forever connects him to the wrong place. Norman called the premiere of “Winnie”, for which he almost fell under the tribunal.
– Enver Hoxha declared “Mr. Pitkin” the national hero of Albania. Therefore, in a country isolated from the world, films of the capitalist countries were shown, only those where he played. In the 1990s, he was received in Tirana as a top-level dignitary. In 2001, he entered the field before the start of a football match between the national teams of England and Albania, which caused such ecstasy among the fans that even David Beckham was jealous.
– Despite the fact that in many Russian titles of films with the participation of Norman Wizdom, the name Pitkin appears, in reality, such a character as Norman Pitkin is found in only four films. In all other films, which are conventionally attributed to the cycle of comedies about Mr. Pitkin, the main character has a different surname, or his name is simply Norman. In total, 12 films were made about an unlucky character named Norman, the first six of which were directed by John Paddy Carstairs, and the rest by Robert Asher. All films were shot at the Rank Organization studio from 1953 to 1966. This series of films also includes the comedy The Girl On Board, shot by United Artists, as her character, Sam Marlowe, generally repeats Mr. Pitkin’s usual behavior.
Pitkin is a butcher shopkeeper. One day he has to call an ambulance for a fallen shop owner Grimsdale. After the ambulance arrives, Pitkin, within five minutes of screen time, tries to help the orderlies to transfer Grimsdale to the car, turning it inadvertently, then dropping the insensible body, then touching them with door grills, etc., which, according to the authors movie should create a comic effect. Finally, Grimsdale is somehow transported to the hospital, where its director, Lord Hector (Jerry Desmond), is waiting for the visit of the millionaire Lady Brinkley, counting on her donation to the hospital, and intends to show the guests her hospital in the best possible way.