Photos with Oliver Wakefield
BiographyMahlabitini, Zululand, South Africa
Oliver Wakefield, "The Voice of Inexperience, " has been described as an English comedian with an American sense of humor. A master of droll, unfinished sentences and pithy remarks, Oliver Wakefield has a brilliant faculty for biting sarcasm and sage observations of human foibles. While seeming to spout nonsense, he nevertheless leaves the audience with an overall impression that, like "The Melancholy Dane", he has "method in his madness." This specialist in making nonsense sound philosophical - and vice versa - was born to be a comedian. Read more... was born in Zululand, South Africa? Only another Zululander, and at last count there weren't very many Zulu comedians making the rounds in show business. Following his unusual beginning, Oliver remained on the Dark Continent long enough to get a formal education, then journeyed to England and an acting job with a Shakespearean repertory company. From there he went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for further study. While studying he developed a new style of humor and very quickly established himself in nightclubs and music hall circles as a very clever and versatile comedian. He has the distinction of being the first Resident Comedian on the B.B.C., and was also a pioneer in British T.V. He starred and played feature roles for Warner Brothers and Gainsborough Pictures opposite such top-flight British performers as Gracie Fields, Anne Crawford, Glynis Johns and Patricia Roc, and appeared regularly at the Savoy, The Berkeley, The Ritz, Cafe de Paris, and other clubs. He was booked to open at the Rainbow Room in New York three weeks after the out break of the war, but chose to remain in England and joined the R.A.F. After the war, Oliver Wakefield returned to show business, playing for a full year in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. This was followed by a 52 week radio series for the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Returning to the United States in 1952 he was immediately booked into the Blue Angel in New York, where he re-established himself in the American scene as a definite British asset. He delighted audiences at Blue Angel, Number One Fifth Avenue, Ruban Bleu, and Bon Soir and has made successful appearances on the All Star Revue, Kate Smith, Steve Allen and many other guest appearances. His Last Broadway appearance was in the Bette Davis Revue, "TWO'S COMPANY" at the Alvin Theatre in New York. It is difficult to describe Oliver Wakefield's act. It has often been said that his grasp of current affairs is only exceeded by his inability to express them. He makes a very good-looking appearance, wearing a distinguished handlebar moustache; he impresses one as a typical English gentlemen --, which he is: He writes his own material. With extreme nonchalance he tells us that "Britain has built herself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty, " and makes one share his confidence that "They will get an American loan even if they have to borrow the money." In Canada apart from appearing frequently for CBS on the Frigidair T.V. Show he played a record breaking fourteen weeks at Montreal's smart "Ruby Foos" and also had his own T.V. Panel Show "Make a Match." With his additional Motion Picture and Dramatic background we close this biography with a quote from Variety "Wakefield seems strong for any medium."