About Dickie Henderson, OBE
<The Times, September 23, 1985>
<A Versatile performer>
Dickie Henderson, the comedian, died yesterday. He was 62 and had been suffering from cancer.
Henderson was born into a theatrical family. His father, Dick Henderson, was a rotund Yorkshire comedian who made the original hit record of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips", and his sisters, the Henderson Twins, were dancers. Dickie Henderson made his own debut at the age of 10. His father was touring America in vaudeville and Henderson was at school in Hollywood when, in 1932, he was offered a role in the film, "Cavalcade", playing the son of Clive Brook and Diana Wynyard.
He returned to Britain and further schooling and it was not until 1938 that he made his first appearance on the British stage, as an "eccentric dancer". This was followed by many years in variety, pantomime and review. He appeared in shows at the London Palladium, the Princes Theatre and the London Casino.
As an actor he was in the 1955 production of "Teahouse of the August Moon" which ran for 20 months at Her Majesty's.
Henderson became a national figure in the 1950s through television, making his first appearance in 1953 in the Arthur Askey Show. For several years he had his own show on ITV, a domestic comedy series in which June Laverick played his wife. A neat, dapper man he combined comedy with dancing and had a reprtoire of classic routines perfected during his long apprenticeship on the variety stage. In one he became hopelessly entangled in the microphone wire; in another he impersonated an aspiring crooner, gradually becoming the worse for drink.
The late 1950s and 1960s saw him at the peak of his popularity and during that period he made several appearances in the Royal Variety performance. After that his variety work declined and he concentrated on dancing but he returned to comedy in 1977.
He is survived by his wife, Gwyneth, and two children. -=-