Dave Willis (comedian)

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Painting of comedian Dave Willis by Henry Raeburn Dobson, 1940 National Galleries of Scotland

Dave Willis (Nom de Guerre of David Williams)(1895– 1 January 1973) was a Scottish comedian and actor.[1][2][3] He was a major music hall star in the 1930s and the 1940s in Glasgow, who came to prominence in pantomime. The actor Jerry Desmonde acted as a stooge to him.[4] He made two films for Welwyn Studios co-starring with Patricia Kirkwood in the late 1930s. The 'Scottish Theatre Archive' describes how a "genial, slightly bemused style of comedy characterised his 'little' man style of comedy". One of his best known songs was "In my wee gas mask" about an ARP warden ("the nicest looking warden in the A.R.P").[3]

His son Denny Willis was also a music hall performer and incorporated a number of his father's routines into his act.[3]



  1. ^ "BBC - Your Paintings - David Williams (1895–1973), Comedian (Nom de Guerre Dave Willis)". bbc.co.uk. 
  2. ^ "Dave Willis". BFI. 
  3. ^ a b c "University of Glasgow". gla.ac.uk. 
  4. ^ Donnelley, p. 208


  • Donnelley, Paul. Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press, 2000.

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