Nathaniel Tristram Jackley Hirsch
16 July 1909
|Died||17 September 1988 (aged 79)|
Nat Jackley (16 July 1909 – 17 September 1988) was an English comic actor starring in variety, film and pantomime from the 1920s to the mid-1980s whose trademark rubber-neck dance, skeletal frame and peculiar speech impediment made him a formidable and funny comedian and 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 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 throughout Europe and the United States. His brother David was an actor and his wife, Marianne Lincoln, was scriptwriter and Nat's comedy foil. Nat Jackley was also a member of the Freemasons. He died of 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.
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
- Threads (1984) as Man in Graveyard
- The Ploughman's Lunch (1983) as Mr. Penfield
- 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.
- "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. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "WW2 People's War: Una Bracey Remembers". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012.
- "Film no: 507 The Symbol of Entertainment Supreme 1950". Intute. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012.
- "Nat's in the Belfry". Memorable TV. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Magical Mystery Tour". Television Heaven. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008.; "Magical Mystery Tour". Beatles.com. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007.
- "Bentine". Memorable TV. 2 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Memorable TV. Archived from the original on 30 July 2008.; Rothwell, Kenneth. "A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981, Elijah Moshinsky)". University of Victoria.; "A Midsummer Night's Dream – 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. Archived from the original on 22 April 2012.
- "The unofficial website of Cannon and Ball". Comedy Kings. Archived from the original on 28 March 2009.
- "Leeds Empire". Yorkshire Pride.[dead link]
- "Discovering Leeds". leodis – a photographic archive of leeds. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007.
- "This'll Make You Laugh". Sabrina. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Auty, Donald. "Blackpool Wonderful Blackpool". arthurlloyd.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007.
- "Julie Andrews". C20th.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
- "Latin Quarter 1951". The Guide to Musical Theatre. Archived from the original on 3 December 2007.
- "Off the Record". The Guide to Musical Theatre. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006.
- "Publicity Postcards Full Colour". Vaudeville Postcards. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007.
- "High Time". The Guide to Musical Theatre. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007.