The wee Ronnie

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | March 31, 2016 0

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The one known as the “Wee Ronnie” in the Two Ronnies, legendary comic Ronnie Corbett has died aged 85.

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Ronnie Corbett with the statue of his long time comedy partner Ronnie Barker in Aylesbury where Barker first trod the boards

The Scottish actor, best known for his role alongside Ronnie Barker in The Two Ronnies, died this morning surrounded by his family. A statement from his publicist read: ‘Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation’s best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family. “They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time.”

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Iconic: John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett in comedy sketch Three Ages of Man

The comedian was hospitalised with gall bladder problems back in 2014 after suffering chest pains and nausea. At the time his wife Anne said: “He is still enjoying his work and having a wonderful life. He’s given his life to show business and he still intends to work as long as he can. The 5ft 1in entertainer has divided his time in recent years between his homes in Croydon, South London and Gullane, East Lothian.

Corbett will be best remembered for his role in The Two Ronnies, alongside Ronnie Barker, who died of heart failure in 2005. After serving as an RAF Officer Corbett started his film, TV and stage career in the mid-1950s when he played a number of comic schoolboy roles thanks to his diminutive stature. He went on to become a regular on Crackerjack and had small appearance in films including Rockets Galore! And Some Will, Some Won’t.

avid Frost’s The Frost Report in the mid-1960s, which is where he met long-time collaborator and comedy partner Barker.The pair then went on to star in their own show The Two Ronnies, which lasted from 1971-1987, establishing them as two of the nation’s most popular comedians. One of the favourite slots of the show was Ronnie Corbett’s monologue from a king-sized armchair.

Corbett went on to star in the 1980s BBC1 sticom Sorry! about a middle-aged librarian called Timothy who still lives with his parents. The comedian married wife Anne Hart in 1965 and they have two daughters together, Emma and Sophie. The couple had a son, Andrew, who died at just six weeks old due to a heart defect.  Speaking to The Telegraph in 2013, Corbett said: “I do find the ‘national treasure’ thing very touching. Actually, it brings a tear to my eye when people call me that.”

When asked about his favourite moment from his prolific career, he said: “When Ronnie B and I did those two big sell-out seasons at the Palladium. “Having sat in that same theatre at 18 and seen Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Danny Kaye perform there.  To think that we were in the same place, together and being such dear friends. That’s a pretty hard one to beat.”

Sir Bruce Forsyth spoke emotionally about his friend, colleague and fellow golf enthusiast, saying it was “one of the saddest days of my life. Ronnie was a friend, someone I admired so much. It’s a very, very sad day. I’m going to miss him like crazy, I really will.” Sir Bruce said one of the first times he saw Corbett was when he was working in the cast of a Danny La Rue show in the West End. “That was one of the wonderful things about Ronnie – he was very adaptable. He could work with anybody, even me,” he said. “We always say a one-off, but he certainly was a one-off and a half. He really was.”

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So, it is goodnight from Him, one of Britain’s best loved comedians and by all accounts an all round nice guy.

Ronald Balfour “Ronnie” Corbett, CBE (4 December 1930 – 31 March 2016) Scottish stand-up comedian, actor, writer, broadcaster, and comedian.

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