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
Where There’s a Will (1936)
Benjamin Stubbins
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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Personal Details

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