Veteran British comedian and game show host Bob Monkhouse died Dec. 29 of prostate cancer in Eggington, U.K. He was 75.
Though not well known in the United States, he was a household name in England. During a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he was host of a series of television game shows, including “The Golden Shot,” “Celebrity Squares “(a spinoff of the U.S. show “Hollywood Squares”), “Candid Camera” and “Bob’s Full House.”
He also appeared in a dozen movies, including “Carry On Sergeant,” “Dentist in the Chair” and “The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom.” And almost until his death, he performed comedy routines in cabarets and gave speeches.
Despite his success, many viewers didn’t care for his highly polished persona and perennial tan. After a difficult childhood with remote parents, he began writing for comic books and drawing cartoons.
He began working with Denis Goodwin, a fellow student at Dulwich College, with whom he wrote radio scripts and, occasionally, material for Bob Hope or Dean Martin, before winning spots hosting gameshows.
In the early ’90s, Monkhouse was the subject of an hourlong television special of his comedy routines, which renewed his reputation as one of the country’s funniest funnymen.
In addition, his revealing and self-lacerating autobiography “Crying With Laughter,” had been published, which softened public opinion about him.
In 1999, Monkhouse published a second autobiography, “Over the Limit.”
He is survived by his wife Jackie and a daughter.