Ronald Balfour "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. He achieved prominence in Sir David Frost's 1960s satirical comedy programme The Frost Report and later starred in the sitcoms Sorry! and No – That's Me Over Here!.
Early life and career Edit
Ronnie Corbett was born in Edinburgh in 1930, the son of London-born Annie Elizabeth (Main) and William Balfour Corbett, master baker. He has a brother about six years younger, and a sister about ten years younger than himself. Corbett was educated at the Royal High School in the city, but did not attend university. After leaving school, he decided he wanted to be an actor while performing in amateur theatricals at a church youth club. However, his first job was with the Ministry of Agriculture.
He then did national service with the Royal Air Force, during which he was the shortest (in height) commissioned officer in the British Forces. A former Aircraftman 2nd class, he was commissioned into the secretarial branch of the RAF as a pilot officer (national service) on 25 May 1950. He was given the service number 2446942. He transferred to the reserve (national service list) on 28 October 1951, thereby ending his period of active service. He was promoted to flying officer on 6 September 1952.
Rise to Fame Edit
It was in The Frost Report (1966–67) that Corbett first worked with Ronnie Barker. The writers and cast were mostly Oxbridge graduates from the Footlights tradition. Corbett said he and Barker were drawn together as twogrammar school boys who had not gone to university. The show was a mixture of satirical monologues, sketches and music. Corbett and Barker were beginning to be thought of as a pair. They appeared with John Cleese in one of the most repeated comedy sketches in British television, the Class sketch, in which Corbett got the pay-off line: "I get a pain in the back of my neck."
Continuing under Frost, Corbett starred in No – That's Me Over Here!, a sitcom written by Frost Report writers Barry Cryer, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle (ITV 1967–70). Cryer and Chapman wrote two follow-ups: Now Look Here (BBC 1971–73) and The Prince of Denmark (BBC 1974). Corbett also appeared in Frost on Sunday (ITV 1968) and hosted The Corbett Follies (ITV 1969).
The Two Ronnies Edit
Corbett presented a monologue sitting in a large easy chair (emphasising his small size), and usually wearing a Lyle & Scott golfing V-neck sweater, he would tell a simple joke over several minutes, often allowing himself to appear to lose his train of thought.
Personal Life Edit
Corbett married actress and dancer Anne Hart in 1965; they have two daughters, actresses Emma and Sophie Corbett. Their first child, Andrew, had a heart defect and died, six weeks old, at St Thomas' Hospital. He lived in Shirley, Croydon, for many years. He also had a home in Gullane, East Lothian, in Scotland. He was a beekeeper and kept hives at his second home in East Lothian.
Corbett was a golfer and appeared in celebrity and pro–am events; in 2009 he made a documentary with Colin Montgomerie in which they played at Gleneagles. A keen cricket fan, Corbett was also a past president of the cricketing charity the Lord's Taverners (1982 and 1987). He also supported his local football club, Crystal Palace, as well as his hometown club, Heart of Midlothian.
|1952||You're Only Young Twice (film)||Student|
|1953||Rheingold Theatre||Young Hooligan|
|1963||The Saint||Call Boy|
|1966-1967||The Frost Report||Various Roles|
|1967-1970||No – That's Me Over Here!||Ronnie|
|1969||Hark at Barker|
|1971-1973||Now Look Here||Ronnie|
|1974||The Prince of Denmark||Ronnie|
|1971-1987||The Two Ronnies||Himself & Various characters|
All Characters Except Giant Squeak
|1998||The Ben Elton Show||Himself|
|2000||Cinderella ITV Panto||Griselda (One of the Ugly Sisters)|
|2004||The Keith Barret Show||Himself With His Wife|
|2004||Monkey Trousers||Various roles|
|2005||The Two Ronnies Sketchbook|
|2006||Little Britain Abroad||Himself|
|2008||Love Soup||Gordon Baxter|
|2009||Sarah Jane Adventures (Comic Relief)||Ambassador "Rani" Ranius/Slitheen|
|2009||Strictly Come Dancing||Host|
|2010||Ant and Dec's Push The Button||Voiceover|
|2010||The One Ronnie||Himself|
|2011||Ronnie Corbett's Comedy Britain||Himself|
|2013||Ronnie's Animal Crackers||Himself|
|1956||Fun at St. Fanny's||Chumleigh|
|1962||Operation Snatch||Soldier (uncredited)|
|1970||Some Will, Some Won't||Herbert Russell|
|1970||The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer||Interviewer|
|1973||No Sex Please, We're British||Brian Runnicles|
|1997||Fierce Creatures||Reggie Sea Lions|
|2010||Burke and Hare||Captain Tam McLintoch|