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  1. #1
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    The Canadian-born singer and stage musical star has died at the age of 89. Edmund also had a number of film credits such as King's Rhapsody and For Better, For Worse.

    His obituary is here:

    Edmund Hockridge: singer and actor | Times Online Obituary


  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved his version of "Hey There" from The Pajama Game - he had the most amazing voice.


    DS x.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Edmund Hockridge had a magnificent, rich singing voice.....

    From The Times

    March 17, 2009

    Edmund Hockridge: singer and actor | Times Online Obituary

    Edmund Hockridge: singer and actor

    With his rugged looks and strong baritone voice the Canadian-born singer Edmund Hockridge was one of the West End�s biggest stars in the 1950s.

    He played leading roles in a string of popular musicals including Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Can Can and The Pajama Game and had recording hits with songs such as Young and Foolish, No Other Love, The Fountains of Rome and More than Ever. A song from The Pajama Game, Hey There, gave him his biggest record hit and became his signature tune.

    Immensely popular with British audiences, Hockridge eventually made his home in the UK and for more than 40 years topped bills around the country in musicals, variety, radio and TV shows.

    Edmund Hockridge was born into a musical family in Vancouver in 1919. His mother was a pianist, and his father and three brothers were keen amateur singers. As a teenager Hockridge had an outstanding singing voice, and he was encouraged by the New York Metropolitan Opera star John Charles Thomas to turn professional.

    He first visited Britain in 1941 with the Royal Canadian Air Force and helped set up the Allied Expeditionary Forces Network, which supplied entertainment and news for troops in Europe. He was loaned to the BBC, often working with the Glen Miller Band and the Canadian band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces led by Robert Farnon. He sang and produced more than 400 shows with the BBC Forces Network and as the war ended he sang with big bands such as Geraldo�s.

    After the war he returned to Canada and had his own radio show in Toronto in which he played leading roles in operas such as Don Giovanni, La boh�me and Peter Grimes as well as Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

    His unexpected break came in 1951 when he returned to Britain and was invited to take over from Stephen Douglass as Billy Bigelow in Carousel at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The reviews were sensational, and audiences warmed to his larger-than-life stage prescence.

    �Carousel was my favourite show,� he said. �You couldn�t sing that score for three years and not love it. It was a marvellous show and all the better because I met my future wife, Jackie, in it.�

    He appeared in Carousel for 1,300 performances, and when the run ended he took over from Jerry Wayne as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the London Coliseum.

    �Liz Webb and I were the only two non-Americans in Guys and Dolls,� Hockridge recalled. �We felt very privileged to be in the production.

    Unfortunately, Sid James, the comic actor, later joined the run and he was a nightmare to work with. He ad-libbed everything and put in new comic business every night. I never knew what was going to happen. He was eccentric.�

    Hockridge stayed at the Coliseum for two more shows, playing Judge Forestier in Can Can, and Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game, the latter being a favourite show with the Royal Family.

    Throughout the 1950s he recorded a host of show tune LPs and was a frequent guest star on television. He appeared in early editions of The Benny Hill Show as well as Sunday Night at the London Palladium and he starred in a six-month, sell-out variety season again at the Palladium. In 1953 he was in the Royal Variety Show along with stars such as Max Bygraves and Tommy Cooper and the same year he was Canada�s representative in the Westminster Abbey choir at the Coronation.

    He made his film debut in 1944 with a brief appearance in Starlight Serenade but he had more substantial roles (NOT CORRECT: we only hear his singing voice in these films.....) in the 1950s in films such as For Better, for Worse (1954), the romantic drama (NO !!!) starring Dirk Bogarde, and King�s Rhapsody (1955), co-starring (NO!!!) with Anna Neagle and Errol Flynn.

    After his years in the West End Hockridge headlined in cabaret on the QE2�s maiden voyage and he toured Europe in revivals of musicals. He also turned to British summer seasons and Sunday concerts, the gentlemanly Canadian becoming one of Blackpool�s most popular stars. He topped the bill on Blackpool�s North Pier for seven years and appeared in several of Harold Fielding�s Opera House concerts in the 1960s. A Stage newspaper review of a 1960 appearance noted: �This glorious singer makes a tremdous impression with a selection that includes songs from his shows. His use of the stage, as well as his voice, is admirable.�

    In the early 1980s he appeared in revivals of The Sound of Music and South Pacific but he made a spectacular comeback in 1986 when he played the part of the elderly Buffalo Bill in the big revival of Annie Get Your Gun, with rock star Suzi Quatro in the role of Annie. As he made his first entrance the entire audience rose in an explosive roar of welcome.

    Hockridge was a devoted family man who, for many years, lived quietly in Cambridgeshire. In the 1990s he was back on the road with his show, The Edmund Hockridge Family, in which he was joined on stage by Jackie and their two sons, Murray and Stephen.

    He never really retired and even in his eighties he was still making public appearances and giving talks about his long career. �I keep going,� he said, �and I�m flattered when anyone remembers me.�

    Edmund Hockridge, singer and actor, was born on August 9, 1919. He died on March 15, 2009, aged 89

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    RIP Mr Hockridge.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Obituary: Edmund Hockridge

    Canadian actor and singer whose life story read like the script of a musical

    by Neil Patrick

    The Guardian, Wednesday 18 March 2009

    Obituary: Edmund Hockridge | World news | The Guardian

    The life of Edmund Hockridge, who has died aged 89, could have provided the

    storyline for one of the musicals he starred in. Canadian boy who helps his

    father on the farm is discovered to have a remarkable voice. He is

    championed by the matrons of Vancouver, "discovered" and after war service

    happens to arrive in Britain just as West End producers are hunting for a

    singer to take the lead role in a show brought over from Broadway. In true

    showbiz tradition, he gets the part.

    Hockridge was to play the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel for more than

    1,000 performances, becoming one of the West End's biggest stars of the

    1950s. Using his cinematic good looks and powerful voice to the full, he

    established himself as an enduring television, radio and variety star in


    Edmund James Arthur Hockridge was born in Vancouver in August 1919. When he was old enough to understand biology, he calculated that he had arrived nine months after the armistice and caused blushes by suggesting to his reserved

    parents that he might have been the product of postwar celebrations. The

    youngest of four boys, he enjoyed an idyllic boyhood, roaming the Rockies,

    singing along to Bing Crosby and Nelson Eddy on the wireless.

    His ambition to become a singer was boosted when he became an usher for

    pocket money at Vancouver Auditorium, where he saw Beniamino Gigli, Paul

    Robeson and other singers of world rank. When his own voice broke, it turned

    out to be a pure and powerful baritone and a group of citizens arranged for

    him go to a Vancouver hotel to sing for a visiting opera star.

    The verdict was encouraging and soon Hockridge was winning prizes for

    singing but his ambitions were curtailed by the outbreak of the second world

    war. Though he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force hoping to become a pilot,

    nose bleeds at altitude forced him to think again. Posted to Britain, he

    coupled military PR duties with BBC broadcasts to the troops and appearances with dance bands. While serving in Britain he met a Wren, Eileen Elliott,

    who worked in Lord Louis Mountbatten's office. They married and had a son,

    but Hockridge always believed that they had fallen into marriage rather than

    fallen in love, and by the time he returned to Canada it was clear that the

    relationship was doomed.

    Hockridge had his own radio show in Canada: nonetheless, at the age of 31,

    he decided to return to Britain. There could not have been a better time to

    make the move. Stephen Douglass, the American actor playing Billy Bigelow in

    Carousel, had exhausted his work permit and a new lead man was needed. The role called for an imposing character with stamina and a powerful voice.

    Someone, as the script says, "as tall and as strong as a tree". Hockridge,

    at 6ft 1in and, according to one critic, with "looks girls long to encounter

    on the beach" fitted the bill.

    He played the fairground barker Billy more than 1,000 times in London and

    hundreds of times on the provincial tour. For seven years he was regarded as

    "London's resident male lead", topping the bill in the first London

    productions of Guys and Dolls (1953-54), Can-Can (1954-55) and The Pajama

    Game (1955-56). He became a major recording artist as a result of his

    success in musicals, having a hit with Hey There, from The Pajama Game.

    Carousel was also to change Hockridge's personal life. In the cast was a

    19-year-old dancer and singer called Jackie Jefferson. He was smitten by her

    but was still married, and 13 years her senior. The couple chose to keep

    their affair low-key, eventually marrying after his first wife agreed to a

    divorce. They moved to Peterborough (where they lived next door to Ernie

    Wise) and brought up a family.

    During his 50-year career Hockridge recorded 11 albums and worked with a

    dazzling array of old-style stars, including Tommy Cooper, Eartha Kitt, Max

    Wall, Roy Hudd, Cliff Richard, Billy Dainty, Morecambe and Wise, and Petula

    Clark. In 1986, aged 67, he partnered the rock singer Suzi Quatro in a

    London production of Annie Get Your Gun (his seventh musical) and also

    appeared with Isla St Clair in a provincial production of The Sound of Music


    Hockridge was especially proud to have been top of the cabaret bill when the

    QE2 made her maiden voyage, in 1969. He loved sport, especially cricket, and

    had a keen sense of humour and a fund of anecdotes. But most of all he liked

    to be thought of as a family man who had been fortunate. He used to say: "My Dad told me that you could only control so much in life. After that you

    needed a bucket full of luck. I got my bucketful."

    He is survived by Jackie, their sons Murray and Stephen, a foster son,

    Clifford, and Ian, his son from his first marriage.

    Edmund James Arthur Hockridge, singer, born 9 August 1919; died 15

  6. #6
    Member Country: England
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    What sad news. He was a great performer. He lived in Peterborough and, until Ernie Wise moved south he was his next door neighbour. Edmund often told the story that he was invited to Ernie's house one weekend and liked Peterborough so much he bought the house next door and this is where he stayed. He was an Honary President of Peterborough Hospital Radio and often supported local events when his schedule allowed.

    R.I.P Edmund

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