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In the world of entertainment, Ken Dodd was a name synonymous to laughter as the comedian was a master at rib cracking ribs with his signature wild-looking hair and buck teeth. Dodd had a long-standing career which spanned over 5 decades and his ability to stand for long periods during his shows was also a remarkable trait.
Get all the facts about this comic legend as you read on.
Who Was Ken Dodd?
Ken Dodd was born in Knotty Ash, a district in Liverpool, in an old farmhouse, where he eventually spent the rest of his life. His birthdate is recorded as 8th November 1927 and he is the second child of his parents Arthur and Sarah. Ken’s elder brother’s name is William and he has a younger sister named June. During his childhood, Ken was said to have joined the choir in his local church in Knotty Ash and he attended the Knotty Ash School after which he went to Holt High School in Liverpool. However, Ken Dodd did not finish his education as he had to leave to go join his father at his work as a coal merchant.
During the period of his work with his father, Ken started developing an interest in the show business, most especially after he saw a commercial about becoming a ventriloquist tagged Fool your Teachers, Amaze your Friends. As a teenager, he would go entertain people in the orphanage and in functions organized for the general public. At 18 years old, Ken Dodd got a van he could use to tour clubs he wanted to perform comedies in.
Sir Ken’s career in comedy kicked off fully in 1954 with a masterly show business where he portrayed Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty in the Nottingham empire. He also performed live in different theatres in the UK during that period. In the next year, Ken Dodd performed in Let’s Have Fun, at the big sea-side resort in England called Blackpool where he got top billing for the first time. Afterward, he made a record of saying 1500 jokes within three and a half hours at the Royal Court Theatre. This account went into the Guinness Book of Records in the 1960s.
Ken Dodd eventually became popular in music halls, television, and radio, especially because of his humor. He mixed comedy with singing and developed a signature tune called “Happiness” in 1964. It can be said that Ken’s humorous baritone voice and his ventriloquism made him loved by many.
Was He Married With Wife And Children?
The comedian first dated Anita Butin for 24 years but their relationship met a sad end when she died of a brain tumor in 1977 at age 45. Following her death, Ken Dodd met the pretty bluebell dancer, Anne Jones, at a show she performed in during the Christmas period of 1961 at Manchester opera house. The pair did not just have a romantic relationship but also became partners in business as she performed alongside Ken in his shows. The lovebirds started to live together and tried to have children, but they could not. It is understood that Anne took fertility treatments and even had series of IVF’s but to no avail.
Sir Ken privately wedded Anne at his home in Knotty Ash on 9 March 2018 which was 40 years after their relationship began. Word on the street is that the comedy legend had to make his relationship with Anne legal in order to prevent his wealth from ending up in the taxman’s hand.
What Was His Net Worth?
The talented stand-up comedian is said to have had an estimated net worth of $10 million as at the time of his death and his earnings are all products of his work as an entertainer.
However, in 1989, Ken faced what seemed to be a hurdle in his career as he was charged to court for tax evasion, spanning over a period of 15 years. The case brought to light that he never paid the children who performed with him as the Diddy men. It was also made known that Ken Dodd had little money in his bank account with a majority of his money found in different parts of his house and his suitcase. The case was taken by Brian Leveson while George Carman represented Ken. The court case lasted about 3 weeks, after which Ken was exonerated and his career still continued.
Ken Dodd had a breakthrough at the London Palladium and got awarded with British Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award and recently, he was made a knight in the 2017 New Year Honors for his services to entertainment and charity.
The famed entertainer turned 90 in November 2017 and celebrated it with joy as just two weeks before this, he had spent six weeks in the hospital for a chest infection. The comedian seemed fine on his return from the hospital and even made comments about returning to stage performance and made jokes about teaching his legs how to walk again, claiming they had forgotten how. Moreso, Ken claimed to have written new jokes during his stay in the hospital
However, the comedy legend passed on in early 2018, 11th of March to be precise. Though gone, Ken Dodd is still remembered for his hilarious nature and contribution to entertainment would forever be treasured.