Lenny Henry

Last updated 09 January 2020

Acting Credits
(unlisted roles): as The Doctor: The Lenny Henry Show[Related]
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Lenny Henry
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Sir Lenworth George Henry, CBE

Born: Thursday 28th August 1958 (age: 65)

Official Website

Lenny Henry was born in Dudley in the West Midlands, and attended St. Johns Primary School, The Blue Coat School, and then the W.R. Tuson College. Taking an interest in comedy and impressions, he worked in a number of clubs, honing his mimicry of characters such as Frank Spencer (from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em). He came to the attention of the general public when he appeared on ITV talent show New Faces, which he won in 1975 for his impersonation of singer Stevie Wonder, and then became well known to children as a regular on the Saturday morning show TISWAS.

In 1980 he joined "The Comic Strip", a group of comedians that included Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson, Robbie Coltrane, Jennifer Saunders and his future wife Dawn French. His television career continued in Three of a Kind and then under his own name in The Lenny Henry Show in 1984, a series that has continued in various guises for over thirty years. Other series have included Chef and a serious role as headmaster Ian George in the school drama Hope and Glory. He has been the voice of "Elephant" in Tinga Tinga Tales, and also provides voices in Big and Small; he also provided the voice of the shrunken head in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  In 2015 he joined the cast of The Syndicate as Godfrey Watson.

He is a founding member of Comic Relief alongside Richard Curtis, a charity that aims to "bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which we believe requires investing in work that addresses people's immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice", and has been a regular presenter on the television fundraising programme Red Nose Day on BBC One since its first evening in 1988. His work for the charity led to him receiving a CBE in 1999 and a Knighthood in 2015.