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

Will Hay

1888–1949 | British actor, writer, director

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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Select Will Hay Filmography

Dr Alec Smart
Capt Ben Cutlet
William Porter
Dr Benjamin Twist
Convict 99 (1938)
Dr Benjamin Twist
Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot
Will Lamb
William Potts / Muller
Royal Navy: Skipper
Professor Davis
William Fitch
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Personal Details

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