Brian Rix (Brian Norman Roger Rix)
BiographyCottingham, East Yorkshire, England, UK
Born the son a Hull shipowner in Cottingham on 27 January 1924 the family moved to Hornsea 4 years later. He became a professional actor, briefly, when he was 18. His wartime service began in the RAF, but he soon after volunteered to become a Bevin Boy, working instead as a coal miner. In 1947 he formed his own theatre company. Rix was associated with the Whitehall Theatre from 1944 until 1969, although as an actor-manager he became increasingly well-known on TV. Read more... awareness and understanding of mental handicap. In 1980 he retired from acting, and became Secretary-General of the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults (Mencap) (it became "The Royal Society" the following year) and in 1987 became its Chairman. Since 2002 the Society has been officially called the "Royal Mencap Society", with Brian now serving as its President. In 1977 he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was knighted in 1986 for his services to charity. In 1992 his tireless work was further recognised when he was created a life peer. After 9 years as a Vice Lord Lieutenant of London Lord Rix was installed as the first Chancellor of the University of East London on 16 July 1997. His recent 80th birthday marked the start of a year of fundraising and publicity for Mencap.