Entertainer. Born George Hoy Booth in Wigan, Lancashire, UK, the son of Eliza Hoy and James Lawler Booth, a successful music hall comedian. After a failed attempt as school, he was apprenticed as a jockey at Epsom, where he ran his first professional race at the age of 10. He continued as a jockey for seven years, returning a dismal record of no wins. After his father's death in 1921, he took over the act, billing himself as George Hoy, by 1923, however, after introducing his trademark ukulele to the act, he took his father's stage name of Formby as well. In 1924, he married clog dancer Beryl Ingham, who then took over as his manager, updating his act and taking control of his professional life. In 1932, he landed a three-year contract with Decca Records and produced such popular novelty numbers as 'Chinese Laundry Blues,' 'I Told My Baby with the Ukelele,' and 'Do De O Do.' In 1935, he moved to Regal-Zonophone where he recorded his signature tunes 'The Window Cleaner' and 'Leaning On A Lamp Post.' He never wrote nor contributed to the writing of any of the songs, but his manager often demanded he share song writing credit, thereby earning him royalties as well as serving mask both his lack of musical training and his functional illiteracy. In 1934, he appeared in the feature film 'Boots! Boots! ' universally described as 'lousy,' followed by a string of eleven musical comedies beginning with 'No Limit' (1935), and including 'Feather Your Nest' (1937), 'Come On George!' (1939), and 'Spare a Copper' (1940). In 1941, he moved to Columbia Pictures where he made several more films, the last being 'George in Civvy Street'(1946). In 1946, he was awarded the OBE in the King's Birthday Honors List for his services to the Allied forces during World War II. In 1951, he appeared in his first London show , 'Zip Goes A Million,' but a heart attack the following year ended his run. In 1953, he appeared at the London Palladium for over 1oo performances of the musical comedy revue 'Fun and the Fair.' A 13 week engagement in 'Turned Out Nice Again' in 1954, was halved, however, due to health issues. After his wife's death in 1960, he was himself hospitalized for some time. Almost two months later, however, he announced his engagement. He succumbed to a heart attack less than a month later. He was inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bio by: Iola