Ben Warriss

Ben Warriss Brief Biography

Ben Holden Driver Warriss (29 May 1909 - 14 January 1993), known as Ben Warriss, was an English comedian and the first cousin of fellow comedy actor Jimmy Jewel. Allegedly the two cousins were born in the same bed (at different times) and brought up in the same household at 52 Andover Street, Sheffield. He was the son of Benjamin Holden Joseph Warriss, an insurance company inspector, and his wife, Mary Ann, ne Driver, Jewel's mother's sister. He first performed on the stage in 1930. Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss came together as professionals in 1934 at the Palace Theatre, Newcastle. Their double act achieved seven Royal Variety Performances, 12 Blackpool summer seasons, a successful radio series (Up the Pole) and a film of the series. Around 1966, the two went their separate ways, with Warriss performing on stage and Jewel moving into television.

In the 1970s Warriss was the resident compere at the Cala Gran club in Fleetwood, Lancashire. In 1988 he played the Emperor of China in the first of the newly reopened Hackney Empire pantomimes, Aladdin. He was still performing in pantomime in his eighties. The character Parker from the 1960s TV series of Thunderbirds is said to have be based upon Warriss' appearance.

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