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 Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

Birth
Caerphilly, Caerphilly, Wales
Death 15 Apr 1984 (aged 63)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Mortlake, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 19941 · View Source
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Comedian. Born in Caerphilly, Wales in 1922, he moved to Exeter in the first few months of his life. He was noted for his trademark fez and magic tricks. One night he was performing his act to a group of soldiers in Cairo. The act involved a routine with a pith helmet and on this particular night he reached up to his head to grab his hat only to find that he had forgotten to wear it. As chance would have it a local waiter was walking past the stage carrying a tray of drinks. He reached out and swiped the hat off of the waiter's head and used that instead. He got a bigger laugh wearing that fez than he ever did for the pith helmet, so it stayed, becoming his instantly recognizable trade mark. By 1957 Tommy Cooper was a well known star. He already had a successful debut at the Hotel Flamingo in Las Vegas and had to turn down a season at the Radio City Music Hall because he was already booked solid for the next two years in England. His first TV series was for Associated-Rediffusion, one of the new independent ITV stations. His show "Life With Cooper" was so successful that even before the end of it's run he was being offered another series. In 1963 he returned to America to record two Ed Sullivan shows. Sullivan, who at the time had one of the most influential shows on American TV, introduced Tommy Cooper for the second show as "The funniest man to ever appear on this stage." His act was popular on both stage and screen, often playing to a packed London Palladium. One of his most famous funny moments was meeting the Queen after a Royal Variety Performance: "Do you think I was funny?" he asked her. "Yes, Tommy." replied The Queen. "You really thought I was funny?" "Yes, of course I thought you were funny." "Did your mother think I was funny?" "Yes, Tommy. We both thought you were funny." "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" "No, but I might not be able to give you a full answer." "Do you like football (soccer)?" "Well, not really." "Can I have your Cup Final tickets?" In April 1984, Tommy Cooper collapsed during a live television broadcast at Her Majesty's Theatre. The people in the audience were still laughing as Tommy, lying on the stage, had the curtain brought down on him and the show cut to a commercial break. They thought that it was part of the act. He died within minutes on the way to hospital.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 29 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19941
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Tommy Cooper (19 Mar 1921–15 Apr 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19941, citing Mortlake Crematorium, Mortlake, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated.