Cast of The Goon Show

Harry Secombe

  • Full name: Harry Donald Secombe
  • Born: 8th September 1921
  • Died: 11th April 2001

Sir Harry Secombe, a round Welsh singer with musical tastes akin to the Queen's.

As a boy, Harry Secombe, who was born in Swansea, developed a popular act as an impersonator at church socials. His first job was as a clerk although he had considered a career in opera.

During World War Two he served in the Army in North Africa and Italy. He met the Spike Milligan while on duty in the Western desert and performed in many troop concerts. After the war, Harry got a job as impersonator at the Windmill Theatre. Here he met Peter Sellers and Michael Bentine.

His contribution to The Goon Show is sometimes overshadowed by Milligan and Sellers larger range of flamboyant characters. However, it was Harrys solid, yet high energy performance in the lead role of Ned Seagoon that held the show together.

Harry went on to have a successful career both in movies and stage comedy, TV presenting and as a singer, particularly in musicals such as Pickwick. He had several chart successes, the song most associated with him being 'If I Ruled the World' (from Pickwick). He also appeared as Mr. Bumble in the 1968 film version Oliver.

Secombe later went on to present religious programmes such as the 'Songs of Praise' and 'Highway'. He was honoured with a CBE in 1963 and a knighthood in 1981.

Harry died of prostate cancer at 79. He is buried at Cranleigh Parish Hall in Surrey, England.

He married once and had four children with his wife, Myra Atherton.