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

Will Hay


British actor, director, writer (died aged 60) | 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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Select Will Hay Filmography

Dandy Dick (1935)
Vicar the Rev Richard Jedd
Boys Will Be Boys (1935)
Dr Alec Smart
Where There’s a Will (1936)
Benjamin Stubbins
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
Black Sheep of Whitehall (1942)
Professor Davis
The Big Blockade (1942)
Royal Navy: Skipper
The Goose Steps Out (1942)
William Potts / Muller
My Learned Friend (1943)
William Fitch
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Personal Details


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