LONDON — Brit comic and thesp Norman Wisdom died on Monday at the age of 95.
London-born Wisdom, who was well-known for playing clumsy, slapstick characters in pics of the 1950s and 1960s, passed away in a nursing home on the Isle of Man after having suffered a series of strokes over the past six months.
Wisdom’s fame spread globally and his comic roles included 1953 pic “Trouble in Store,” for which he nabbed a Bafta award, and Hollywood pic “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” in 1968.
While much of his career was largely television based, Wisdom also enjoyed a stint on Broadway in the 1960s and was nominated for a Tony Award for his perf in the comedy “Walking Happy.”
He was best known for his character Norman Pitkin, or Gump, an accident-prone buffoon, resilient to a string of humiliations, who he played in 12 of his 19 films.
His later work included a recurring role on BBC comedy “Last Summer of Wine” and he even made an appearance on long-running Brit soap “Coronation Street.”
Charlie Chaplin dubbed Wisdom his “favorite clown” and his only true rival, while Albania embraced the comic for years as his pics were the only Western films approved under the totalitarian regime of Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha.
Wisdom was knighted in 2000 and known amongst industryites for his professionalism and frankness.
He leaves behind two children, Nicholas and Jacqueline.