|Birthname||Arthur Wilkinson Worsley|
|born on||16 October 1920|
|Place||Manchester, England, 53n30, 2w15|
|Timezone||GDT h1e (is daylight saving time)|
British ventriloquist, known as one of the most brilliant in his field and a headliner at many theaters in the heyday of variety shows. Worsley's act was unique in that he himself never spoke; his dummy, Charlie Brown, provided the irascible patter. It was said, even by fellow professionals, that you really could not see his lips move - even when he said "bottle of beer." He remained quite expressionless on stage while Charlie dominated the act. He said that he did not talk to his dummy when he was not performing, but "once I walk on stage," Worsley said, "he becomes a real person to me."
Born in Failsworth, the son of a car dealer, Arthur Worsley had aspirations to be a performer from an early age. He visited local variety theatres and at the age of eight he first saw a ventriloquist. So fascinated was he by the act that he decided to study the art by reading books and practicing at home. He got his first secondhand dummy at 11 and began to appear in small venues. By 14, he was beginning to be known and soon after, became professional, touring variety shows.
Beginning a long career on radio, he was, by the 1940s under the guidance and management of Lew and Leslie Grade, a headliner and one of the highest paid acts in the country, and he appeared weekly on the powerful Moss Empire circuit. He did ten variety seasons at the London Palladium, sharing bills with the top talent of his day. With his smart and stylish mode of dress he was also a favorite in cabaret seasons at hotels such as the Savoy and the Dorchester. Worsley was a regular on British TV through the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Known for his own silence on stage, he added his own one word of dialogue in the ‘70s. When Charlie Brown asked, "Well, are you all right then?", Worsley said "Yes." But the dummy had the last laugh when he replied: "You proper little chatterbox!"
In his later years Worsley retired to Blackpool and it was said that, saddened by the decline of variety, he shunned visitors and show business events. Among his fan-letters were some addressed simply to "The World’s Greatest Ventriloquist, Blackpool, Lancs."
He died on 7/14/ 2001, aged 80, survived by his wife, who as Audrey Hewitt was a singer and dancer, and by a son.
Lisa Ishtar on ACT quotes date; time unknown, from the Daily Telegraph, 7/20/2001; birth place of Failsworth,
- Vocation : Entertainment : Night Club/ Vaudeville
- Vocation : Entertainment : Voice-Over (Ventriloquist)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession