|Born||Nathaniel Tristram Jackley Hirsch
July 16, 1909
|Died||September 17, 1988
Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Nat Jackley (16 July 1909 — 17 September 1988) was an English comic actor starring in variety, film and pantomime from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s whose trademark rubber-neck dance, skeletal frame and peculiar speech impediment made him a formidable and funny pantomime dame. His later years were spent as a character actor in films and television.
A native of Sunderland, Nathaniel Tristram Jackley Hirsch was born into a theatrical family. His father George Jackley (1885–1950) was a comic actor who specialised in theatrical dames and was the leading comedian for the Melville Brothers at the Lyceum Theatre during the interwar years. George, himself, was the son of Nathan Jackley who, with his own troupe, The Jackley Wonders, performed in circuses in the United States. His brother David was an actor and his first wife, Marianne Lincoln, was scriptwriter and Nat's comedy foil. Nat Jackley was also a member of the Freemasons. He succumbed to cancer two months past his 79th birthday and his place of death appears in the England and Wales Death Index: 1916-2006 as Coventry, Warwickshire and in other references as London.
Stage, film and television career
Nat Jackley began his career in the 1920s as a double act with his sister Joy and later joined The Eight Lancashire Lads. He teamed up as the 'straight man' to comedian Jack Clifford, but they later swapped roles. In addition to his first wife, he worked with several other feeds, but ultimately made his career as a headlining solo comedian. Like many artists of the time he entertained troops during World War II. Nat Jackley appeared in three Royal Variety shows and topped the bill in summer shows throughout the seaside resorts and in London. In the final decades of his career, he became a character actor in such films as 1956's Stars in Your Eyes and 1984's The Ploughman's Lunch.
In 1950 Nat appeared on television in the programme The Symbol of Entertainment Supreme made from extracts of shows running in Blackpool at the time, including the revue Out of this World at the Opera House with Nat. Although he made many appearances on radio and television, the only time Nat Jackley had his own show on television was with the pair of specials Nat's In The Belfry on BBC TV in 1956. In 1957 he appeared in a film for television Revels of 1957 composed of sections of Blackpool shows of the time. Nat appeared on television in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 as Happy Nat the Rubber Man, Jingle Bells a Play for Today (1973), the one-off Thames special Bentine (1975), Angels (1976), Talent (1979), The Spoils of War (1980), Tales of the Unexpected, A Midsummer Night's Dream as Snout, The Old Boy Network as himself, and Dancing Country a BBC2 Playhouse presentation in 1981, the series The Chinese Detective (1982), the series Juliet Bravo in 1983, Threads (1984), the series Dramarama and Minder in 1985, and Lizzie's Pictures in 1987.
- Jack and the Beanstalk (1975) a pantomime at the Bradford Alhambra with Charlie Drake and Jack Smethurst
- Babes in the Wood (1960) a pantomime at the Empire Palace, Leeds
- This'll Make You Laugh (1956) a revue with Tessie O'Shea, Sabrina and Arthur Worsley
- Singing in the Reign (1952) a summer revue at the Queen's Theatre, Blackpool with Josef Locke
- Aladdin (1951) a pantomime at the London Casino with Jean Carson and Julie Andrews
- The Third Annual 'Latin Quarter' Revue (1951) a revue at the London Casino with Jean Carson
- Off The Record (1950) a revue at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London with Eddie Calvert and Arthur Worsley
- Out of this World (1948) a revue at the London Palladium with Frankie Howerd and Binnie Hale later at the Opera House, Blackpool
- High Time (1946) a revue at the London Palladium.
- Return to Waterloo (1985) as Old Soldier
- Yanks (1979) as Postman
- Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) as Pub Singer, starring Herman's Hermits
- Magical Mystery Tour (1967) as The Rubber Man, produced by The Beatles. However, his scene in this film did not make the final cut, but his name does appear in the end credits.
- Stars in Your Eyes (1956) starring as Jimmy Knowles, with Patricia Kirkwood
- Under New Management (1946) (aka Honeymoon Hotel) as Nat, with Norman Evans, Dan Young and Betty Jumel
- Demobbed (1944) as Nat, with Norman Evans, Dan Young and Betty Jumel.
- "Nat Jackley". Internet Movie Database.
- "Jackley, Nat". British Film Institute.
- "Bring on those Wonderful Dames!". It's Behind You.
- "Radio and Television Personalities". Swalwell.
- "Famous Masons". United Grand Lodge of England. Retrieved 10 July 2012.[dead link]
- "WW2 People's War: Una Bracey Remembers". BBC.
- "Film no: 507 The Symbol of Entertainment Supreme 1950". Intute.
- "Nat’s In The Belfry". Memorable TV. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Revels of 1957". IMDB.
- "Magical Mystery Tour". Television Heaven.; "Magical Mystery Tour". Beatles.com.
- "Bentine". Memorable TV. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "A Midsummernight's Dream". Memorable TV.; Rothwell, Kenneth. "A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981, Elijah Moshinsky)". University of Victoria.; "BBC Television Shakespeare". BBC.
- "The Old Boy Network: Nat Jackley". British Film Institute.
- "Threads". The British Drama Website.
- "This is Your Life: Nat Jackley". British Film Institute.; This Is Your Life (1969–1993) "The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television".
- "The unofficial website of Cannon and Ball". Comedy Kings.
- "Leeds Empire". Yorkshire Pride.[dead link]
- "Discovering Leeds". leodis - a photographic archive of leeds.[dead link]
- "This'll Make You Laugh". Sabrina. Retrieved 10 July 2012.[dead link]
- Auty, Donald. "Blackpool Wonderful Blackpool". arthurlloyd.co.uk.
- "Julie Andrews". C20th.com.[dead link]
- "Latin Quarter 1951". The Guide to Musical Theatre.[dead link]
- "Off the Record". The Guide to Musical Theatre.[dead link]
- "Publicity Postcards Full Colour". Vaudeville Postcards.[dead link]
- "High Time". The Guide to Musical Theatre.[dead link]