Jack Hulbert

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Jack Hulbert
Jack Hulbert Allan Warren.jpg
Portrait by Allan Warren
Born John Norman Hulbert
(1892-04-24)24 April 1892
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
Died 25 March 1978(1978-03-25) (aged 85)
London, England
Years active 1930–1973
Spouse(s) Cicely Courtneidge

John Norman "Jack" Hulbert (24 April 1892 – 25 March 1978) was a British actor, specialising primarily in comedy productions.


Born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, he was the elder and more successful brother of actor Claude Hulbert. He was educated at Cambridge and appeared in many shows and revues, mainly with the Cambridge Footlights. He was one of the earliest famous alumni of the comedy club. After Cambridge, he earned recognition and fame performing in musicals and light comedies.[1]

He made his film debut in Elstree Calling (1930); appearing opposite his wife and frequent stage and screen co-star Cicely Courtneidge, whom he had married in 1916. His career went through a successful period during the 1930s when he appeared in several films, including The Ghost Train (1931), Love on Wheels (1932) and Bulldog Jack (1935), a tongue-in-cheek homage to the popular Bulldog Drummond films in which Jack was supported by his brother Claude.[1] He had a hit record in 1932 The Flies Crawled Up the Window, which originally sung in the film Jack's the Boy.

In 1934 he was voted the most popular male British star at the box office.[2]

In 1936 exhibitors voted him the third most popular British film star.[3]

Hulbert's popularity waned as the 1930s came to an end, and after the war he and his wife continued to entertain chiefly on stage. In 1962 he appeared in the BBC radio sitcom Discord in Three Flats, along with Courtneidge and Vic Oliver.

photo of card in Wills's cigarette album circa 1934

In 1975, Hulbert published his autobiography, The Little Woman's Always Right. His marriage to Cicely Courtneidge lasted for 62 years until his death. Their relationship is mentioned in the British television series Dad's Army in the episode Ring Dem Bells when Hulbert pulls out of shooting a Home Guard training film to spend time with his wife.

Hulbert died, at the age of 85, at his home in Westminster, London on 25 March 1978.





  • Once More With Music – Theatre Royal Brighton – with Cicely Courtneidge – October 1976
  • Breath of Spring – Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, UK – with Cicely Courtneidge – May 1974
  • The Hollow – Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, UK – with Cicely Courtneidge – 1973
  • The Bride Comes Back – Vaudeville Theatre Royal – Cicely Courtneidge, Jack Hulbert – 1960
  • Under Your Hat – with Cicely Courtneidge – 1938
  • Clowns in Clover – with Cicely Courtneidge – 1927
  • By The Way – with Cicely Courtneidge – 1927
  • By The Way – revue – 1922
  • The Pearl Girl – Shaftsbury Theatre – with Cicely Courtneidge – 1913


  1. ^ a b D. Pepys-Whiteley, ‘Hulbert, John Norman (Jack) (1892–1978)’, rev., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  2. ^ "FILM WORLD.". The West Australian (Perth: National Library of Australia). 1 February 1935. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "PICTURES and PERSONALITIES.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 10 April 1937. p. 5. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 

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