British character comedian, Will Hay, wears a mortar board in his trademark schoolmaster role

Will Hay

British actor, director, writer (1888–1949) | Oh, Mr Porter! (1937), The Ghost of St. Michael’s (1941), Ask a Policeman (1939)

British character comedian, one of the screen’s greats; after many years in the music halls, starred in several incomparable farces playing variations on his favourite role of an incompetent, seedy schoolmaster

Mini Biography

Born in Stockton-on-Tees, Will Hay worked as a book-keeper before beginning in the music halls in a schoolmaster sketch in 1909, later joining Fred Karno’s troupe and becoming a star attraction from the mid-20s.

In private life he was an expert amateur astronomer who built his own observatory and wrote a book on the subject, a pilot and a linguist.

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Boys Will Be Boys (1935)
Dr Alec Smart
Windbag the Sailor (1936)
Capt Ben Cutlet
Oh, Mr Porter! (1937)
William Porter
Good Morning, Boys (1937)
Dr Benjamin Twist
Convict 99 (1938)
Dr Benjamin Twist
Ask a Policeman (1939)
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot
The Ghost of St. Michael’s (1941)
Will Lamb
The Goose Steps Out (1942)
William Potts / Muller
The Big Blockade (1942)
Royal Navy: Skipper
Black Sheep of Whitehall (1942)
Professor Davis
My Learned Friend (1943)
William Fitch
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