Ronnie Corbett

Last updated 09 January 2020

Ronnie Corbett (1930-2016)
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Ronald Balfour Corbett

Born: Thursday 4th December 1930
Died: Thursday 31st March 2016 (age: 85)


Ronnie Corbett, CBE  was a Scottish actor and comedian who had a long association with Ronnie Barker in the television comedy series The Two Ronnies.

Born in Edinburgh, Corbett was educated at the Royal High School, and then served his national service in the Royal Air Force (where he reportedly became the shortest commissioned officer in the British Forces). Following the end of his service, he moved to London in order to become an actor, and initially played schoolboy roles owing to his height in films such as You're Only Young Twice, Fun as St Fanny's and Rockets Galore, and television shows like Rheingold Theatre.

His comedy talent developed over this time, leading him to supporting roles in The Dickie Henderson Show and It's Tarbuck; however it was in 1966 during The Frost Report where he was to first meet and work alongside Ronnie Barker, leading to their successful partnership in The Two Ronnies, which ran between 1971 and 1987 plus specials, making him a household name.

Outside of The Two Ronnies, he appeared in shows like It's Tommy Cooper, and The Prince of Denmark, but his other major television role was as Timothy Lumsden in Sorry!, which ran from 1981-1988. Later work included the films Fierce Creatures, Burke and Hare, and on television in The Ronnie Corbett Show, game show Small Talk, Ronnie's Animal Crackers, The One Ronnie, and also an appearance as 'himself' in both Extras and Little Britain.

Though not directly related to Doctor Who, he "inherits" the TARDIS from a 'Doctor' of sorts played by Ronnie Barker in their 1983 Christmas Special sketch, The Adventures of Archie. He was later to appear in the Sarah Jane Adventures universe, playing an ambassador that later turned out to be a Slitheen in the 2009 Comic Relief segment From Raxacoricofallapatorius with Love.

Outside of his career, Corbett was a keen golfer, and was also president of the Lord's Taverners cricketing charity in 1982 and 1987. He received an OBE in 1978 and then a CBE in 2012 for services to entertainment and charity.

He was married to actress and dancer Anne Hart, with two daughters who also act, Emma and Sophie.

Adapted from the Wikipedia article.