British stage and TV veteran Lionel Blair dies at 92

LONDON – Entertainer Lionel Blair, who taught himself to dance by viewing Fred Astaire movies and turned a staple on British stage and television for many years, has died. He was 92.

Blair’s agent reported he died Thursday. No lead to of death was provided.

Blair was born Lionel Henry Ogus in Montreal to Russian Jewish mother and father. The relatives moved to Britain when he was a toddler and settled in London, wherever he and his sister Joyce executed for people sheltering in subway stations all through Environment War II bombing raids.

He began his job as a teenage actor, but before long focused on dancing, getting the phase identify Lionel Blair.

“I actually wished to be an actor,” he mentioned in 2014. “I was the breadwinner just after my father died when we had been very young, and I obtained into a musical, grew to become effectively-known and stayed in musicals. But definitely I want to be in (cleaning soap opera) ‘EastEnders.’”

He grew to become near friends with Sammy Davis Jr. right after the two done a dance-off at a royal variety general performance in 1961 at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre.

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He done as a dancer, labored as a choreographer for television demonstrates and during the 1960s, 70s and 80s was an increasingly outstanding existence on Television wide range and video game exhibits. He was a panelist on charades-dependent game demonstrate “Give Us a Clue” and a presenter on the U.K. variation of “Name That Tune.”

He created several film appearances, together with as a choreographer in The Beatles’ 1964 caper “A Really hard Day’s Night” and in the 1986 musical “Absolute Newcomers.”

He was an annual star of the vastly common seasonal phase shows known as Xmas pantomimes, and also appeared in fact Television displays “Celebrity Major Brother” in 2014 and “The Serious Marigold Hotel” in 2017.

Fellow entertainers remembered Blair as an irrepressible, upbeat existence both equally onstage and off.

His style was typically referred to as camp, but Blair reported “I prefer ‘flamboyant’, or ‘enthusiastic.’ I have always been a little bit more than-the-prime.”

Blair is survived by his spouse Susan, 3 youngsters and 3 grandchildren.

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