Benny Hill's Interesting Facts

1 Buried in Hollybrook Cemetary, Shirley, Southampton.
2 Never married nor had any children.
3 Spoke fluent French and also spoke some Italian, German, and Dutch.
4 After one of their stars died in 1966 (Arthur Haynes), ATV, a rival company to the BBC, tried to re-snatch Benny, but the liaison was short lived when he discovered he would be required to do other things (rather than just his comedy show), such as presenting other programmes. ATV contracts were reputedly just word of mouth and a handshake so it was easy for him to return to the BBC.
5 His simple but ingenious film-tricks are copied by many, for example "Austin Powers".
6 Appeared on the cover of TV Times for the week that ITV started broadcasting in colour.
7 Died of a heart attack while sitting in front of his television inside his apartment. He was found by a producer friend of his who had to climb through a window to let police in. Benny was in his pajamas (what he normally wore around his home). Sitting next to him on a small stand was an unsigned contract which Benny was considering to begin a new series with his friend.
8 He was the star of Genesis' music video for "Anything She Does" in 1986 (from the "Invisible Touch" album). It was the band's idea to cast him. He played his "Fred Scuttle" character, who is the new head of backstage security. Needless to say his incompetence - due mainly to his wandering eye for the ladies (including Page 3 Model Linda Lusardi) - lets all manner of people into the band's dressing room. The video used many of Benny's trademark gags (smoke out of the ears, speed-ed up film..) and a separate, customized, version was shot to use as the opening to the group's world tour.
9 Was born on the same day that V.I. Lenin died.
10 Born on the same day as Telly Savalas, whose Kojak (1973) character he impersonated on his 1969-1989 Thames TV show.
11 Related to Holly Valance. His cousin is her grandfather.
12 Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 216-217. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
13 His father and uncle were circus clowns, performing in the circus until they both left for military service during WWI.
14 When Hill died in April 1992, his estate was worth an estimated £10 million. The only will Hill created left his estate to his parents, who had died years before. Next in line were his brother and sister, neither of whom he had a close relationship with, but like his parents are also dead. As a result, Hill's estate was divided among his seven nieces and nephews.
15 After complaints that his television comedy sketches were too sexual, he began casting children to appear on his shows. But instead of hiring professional child actors, he hired the children of the television crew, stating that their laughing to his sight gags were genuine.
16 Despite his wealth and success, he never owned a car, did his own shopping, lived in a two room apartment, but never used the second floor. According to one of his obituaries, he once refused to repair the leaky roof in his mother's home because it was "too expensive".
17 At the time of his death, a large box was found in his apartment. The many awards and honours he had earned throughout his career had been placed in the box as if they were unimportant to him.
18 Died in his favorite chair while watching television.
19 Was one of only a handful of TV comedians (the others being Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason) who had control over the circumstances of production of their respective TV shows.
20 Comedian.
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