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Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985) (born March 22, 1912 in Dublin, Ireland; died January 18, 1985 in London, England, UK) was an Irish film and television actor, best known for his roles in the British television series Steptoe and Son and The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night.

His television career began during the 1950s, when he was cast in small roles in three Nigel Kneale / Rudolph Cartier productions for BBC Television: as a drunk in The Quatermass Experiment (1953), as both an old man in a pub and later a prisoner in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) and as a tramp in Quatermass II (1955). All of these roles earned him a reputation for playing old men, though he was only at the time in his forties.

It was this ability to play old men that led to his casting in his most famous role, as Albert Steptoe, the irascible father Steptoe and Son. Initially the role was merely a one-off for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse anthology strand: however, its success led to a full series being commissioned, which lasted throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. There were also two feature film spin-offs, a stage show and an American re-make entitled Sanford and Son, based on the original British scripts. In the latter, Brambell's part was taken by Red Foxx.

The success of Steptoe and Son made Brambell a high profile figure on British television, and earned him the major role of Paul McCartney's grandfather in The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night. A running joke is made throughout the film of his character being "a very clean old man." This is in reference to his on-screen son, Harold, in Steptoe and Son constantly referring to his father as "you dirty old man!"

Brambell had a difficult private life: he and Harry H. Corbett, who played Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son, detested each other, and were barely on speaking terms outside of takes by the end of the programme's run. In a series almost entirely based around the pair of them with no other regular characters, this made production of the series difficult and stressful.

Brambell was also a homosexual, at a time when it was very difficult, almost impossible, for public figures to be so. Indeed, when he first became famous for Steptoe and Son, it was still illegal in the UK. Earlier in his life he had been married, from 1948 to 1955, to Molly Josephine, but the marriage ended after she gave birth to the child of their lodger, Roderick Fisher, in 1953.

After the final series of Steptoe and Son was made in 1974, Brambell had some guest roles in films and on television, but both he and Corbett found themselves heavily type cast as their famous characters. In an attempt to take advantage of this situation, they undertook a tour of Australia in the late 1970s with a Steptoe and Son stage show: however, with the pair openly despising each other, the tour was a disaster and a working relationship proved impossible. On one occasion, Brambell used bad language and was openly derogatory about the Australian people in an interview. Brambell did, however appear on the BBC's television news to pay tribute to Corbett after the latter's death from a heart attack in 1982.

Brambell himself died less than three years later, of cancer. He was seventy-three. News of his death received far less attention than that of his co-star, and his funeral was sparsely attended.


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He was seventy-three. News of his death received far less attention than that of his co-star, and his funeral was sparsely attended. Many attribute some of Carrey’s extraordinary abilities to his being affected by bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression. Brambell himself died less than three years later, of cancer. He is an inductee of Canada's Walk of Fame. Brambell did, however appear on the BBC's television news to pay tribute to Corbett after the latter's death from a heart attack in 1982. Carrey's manager is James Miller, younger brother of comedian Dennis Miller. On one occasion, Brambell used bad language and was openly derogatory about the Australian people in an interview. Also in 2004, it was reported that Carrey had been signed to play the title role in a comedic film version of the television series The Six Million Dollar Man.

In an attempt to take advantage of this situation, they undertook a tour of Australia in the late 1970s with a Steptoe and Son stage show: however, with the pair openly despising each other, the tour was a disaster and a working relationship proved impossible. His recent performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) earned high praise from critics. After the final series of Steptoe and Son was made in 1974, Brambell had some guest roles in films and on television, but both he and Corbett found themselves heavily type cast as their famous characters. Jim Carrey continues to appear in successful comedies as well as more dramatic roles. Earlier in his life he had been married, from 1948 to 1955, to Molly Josephine, but the marriage ended after she gave birth to the child of their lodger, Roderick Fisher, in 1953. He earned another Golden Globe, this time for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, but was again passed over for any Oscar nomination. Indeed, when he first became famous for Steptoe and Son, it was still illegal in the UK. Carrey performed for them as Kaufman with Kaufman's actual bongo drums.

Brambell was also a homosexual, at a time when it was very difficult, almost impossible, for public figures to be so. There were quite a few actors fighting for the role, including Edward Norton, but director Milos Forman and the other filmmakers knew Carrey was their "Andy" when they saw his audition. In a series almost entirely based around the pair of them with no other regular characters, this made production of the series difficult and stressful. In 1999 Carrey fought hard for the role of comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. Corbett, who played Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son, detested each other, and were barely on speaking terms outside of takes by the end of the programme's run. Many forecasted an Academy Award nomination as well but it did not happen, leading Jim Carrey to appear on the show and joke "it's an honor just to be nominated...oh no.". Brambell had a difficult private life: he and Harry H. Despite the regular comedy successes, Jim Carrey took a chance and a slight paycut to star in The Truman Show (1998), an emotional change of pace which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama.

A running joke is made throughout the film of his character being "a very clean old man." This is in reference to his on-screen son, Harold, in Steptoe and Son constantly referring to his father as "you dirty old man!". Jim Carrey quickly rebounded with the successful Liar Liar (1997), a return to his trademark style. The success of Steptoe and Son made Brambell a high profile figure on British television, and earned him the major role of Paul McCartney's grandfather in The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night. The attention drawn to his salary, coupled with negative reviews and the character's dark mood in contrast to his other performances, all contributed to the film's box office failure. In the latter, Brambell's part was taken by Red Foxx. Carrey made headlines when it was revealed that for his next film, The Cable Guy, he was paid twenty million dollars, a record payday for a comedic actor. There were also two feature film spin-offs, a stage show and an American re-make entitled Sanford and Son, based on the original British scripts. The following year Jim Carrey appeared as The Riddler in Batman Forever and reprised his role as Ace Ventura in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, two successful films and two more multi-million dollar paychecks.

Initially the role was merely a one-off for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse anthology strand: however, its success led to a full series being commissioned, which lasted throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. Two other successful releases that same year, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, the latter of which earned him seven million dollars, quickly established Jim Carrey as a movie star. It was this ability to play old men that led to his casting in his most famous role, as Albert Steptoe, the irascible father Steptoe and Son. The film was panned by the critics but it became a surprise hit. All of these roles earned him a reputation for playing old men, though he was only at the time in his forties. Jim Carrey's success on In Living Color led to a starring role in the comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) which premiered only months before In Living Color ended. His television career began during the 1950s, when he was cast in small roles in three Nigel Kneale / Rudolph Cartier productions for BBC Television: as a drunk in The Quatermass Experiment (1953), as both an old man in a pub and later a prisoner in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) and as a tramp in Quatermass II (1955). For the start of his career, the press constantly referred to him simply as "the white guy from In Living Color".

Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985) (born March 22, 1912 in Dublin, Ireland; died January 18, 1985 in London, England, UK) was an Irish film and television actor, best known for his roles in the British television series Steptoe and Son and The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night. The only white male performer on the show, Carrey's unusual characters and on-screen behavior caught America's attention. Wayans' brother Keenen Ivory Wayans was in the process of putting together a sketch comedy show for Fox called In Living Color, and hired Carrey to be a cast member. Carrey began to work occasionally in television and in small parts in movies, which eventually led to a friendship with Damon Wayans. Dangerfield liked Carrey's act so much that he signed Carrey up to open Dangerfield's tour performances.

In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles and started working in The Comedy Store, where he was noticed by comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Carrey dropped out of high school, and began to work in comedy clubs and to develop his act, which included impersonations of celebrities such as Michael Landon and James Stewart. Eventually, the Carrey family adjusted by living on a relative's lawn out of the family Volkswagen van until they could move back into town. Carrey began working eight-hour shifts each day after school.

The Carrey family fell on hard times and were forced to move to the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, where they took security and janitorial jobs in the Titan Wheels factory. The teachers in Carrey's high school gave him a few minutes at the end of each school day to do a stand-up routine for his classmates. A comedian from an early age, Carrey mailed his résumé to The Carol Burnett Show when he was 10 years old. citizen on October 7, 2004.

A native of Canada, Carrey became a (dual) U.S. He is best known for his manic, slapstick performances in comedy films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Liar Liar (1997), and Bruce Almighty (2003). James Eugene Carrey (originally Carré) (born January 17, 1962) is a Canadian/American film actor, comedian, writer and producer who was born and grew up in the Toronto suburb of Newmarket, Ontario. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Bruce Almighty (2003). The Majestic (2001). Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).

Dr. Me, Myself and Irene (2000). Man on the Moon (1999). The Truman Show (1998).

Liar Liar (1997). The Cable Guy (1996). Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995). Batman Forever (1995).

Dumb and Dumber (1994). The Mask (1994). Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994). Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992, TV).

In Living Color (1990 series). Earth Girls are Easy (1989). Peggy Sue Got Married (1986). Once Bitten (1985).

The Duck Factory (1983 series).

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