Ronald Frankau (1894 - 1951)

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Managed by: Michael Rhodes
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About Ronald Frankau

<The Times, September 13, 1951>

MR. RONALD FRANKAU

A SUBTLE COMEDIAN

Mr. Ronald Frankau, who for many years entertained large audiences in musical comedy, revue, and over the air, died suddenly at Eastbourne on Tuesday at the age of 57.

Dealing as he did in humour rather than wit, he seemed to take his audience into his confidence; talking as though to his neighbour at the dinner table and keeping the mood bubblingly gay rather than uproarious. It was a method peculiarly apt for the microphone and his success as a broadcaster was on the whole greater than when he appeared on the stage. His sallies, with their subtle allusions to current events and people "in the news", with a background of cheerful guying of the old school tie, undoubtedly had a wide popularity; how much or how little to read into them depended rather on the subtlety of the listener than the cunning of the originator.

Ronald Hugh Wyndham Frankau was the younger son of Mr. Arthur Frankau. His mother was a popular novelist in Edwardian days, writing under the pseudonym of "Frank Danby". He was educated at Eton and studied for a short time at the Guildhall School of Music.

After spending some time in Canada he returned to this country in 1914 and joined the chorus at Daly's under an assumed name. Later he went into the Army, and on demobilization joined the Howitt Phillips repertory company in India in 1919. In the course of the next year he returned to England and joined a concert party at Eastbourne.

Later he formed his own parties and toured with them, alternating these activities with intermittent appearances in the London theatres. His first broadcast in 1927 was the forerunner of many others, the script of which he usually wrote himself. He was thr author of several revues, and, having retired from the entertainment world on account of a heart condition, he planned to devote himself to authorship. He had, in fact, published earlier a number of books, including "Oh! Dear! Dear!, " a book for children.

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Ronald Frankau's Timeline

1894
February 22, 1894
1933
1933
Age 38
London, UK
1951
September 11, 1951
Age 57
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