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©AP/ Max Bygraves
© AP/ Max Bygraves
British entertainer Max Bygraves dies at age 89

LONDON (AP) -- British entertainer Max Bygraves, a veteran singer and comedian known for his old-fashioned charm, has died, his agent confirmed Saturday. He was 89.

Agent Johnny Mans said Bygraves, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died in his sleep Friday at his daughter's home in Hope Island, Queensland, Australia.

Bing: Listen to 'You're a Pink Toothbrush'

Bygraves won fame in Britain's music halls and theaters after World War II, becoming one of the country's best known variety performers and releasing dozens of popular records.

Famed for his catchphrase "I wanna tell you a story," Bygraves become a staple performer on radio through the 1950s, and later appeared frequently on British television shows and in a small number of films.

"We have lost one of the best entertainers that Britain has ever produced," Mans said. "His death is a great loss to the entertainment profession and a great loss to all of his friends in the industry."

Born to an east London dockworker, Bygraves was awarded an OBE -- a British honor -- in 1982, and performed regularly for the royal family, first in 1950 for King George VI.

"He was one of the all-time greats of British show business," comedian Jimmy Tarbuck told BBC television.

The performer's career spanned six decades, with Bygraves recording an album in 2001 for the Royal British Legion charity. He was best known for the songs "You Need Hands" and the novelty hit "You're a Pink Toothbrush."

Bygraves also won brief acclaim in the United States, where he toured in the 1950s and appeared alongside Judy Garland at New York's Palace Theater.

The entertainer emigrated from Britain to Australia in 2005.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Sep 1, 2012 9:16PM

we have great things to ponder...i dont see why your life view is so small that its an inconvience to

you this particular person died and why at all you feel the particular need to make some philisophical statement on the worth of his life and others which you choose to group with him. you try and make some statementwhen in the end you make your self look small and at best petty....someone may care,it aint you so shut up for gods sake


Hmm, I'm wondering if Bygraves' "You Need Hands" was Eric Idle's inspiration for "A Thousand Feet of Film" from The Rutles movie? Maybe, maybe not.
Sep 1, 2012 4:35PM

Who cares? I mean really, don't we have bigger things to ponder than who some talentless troll will wind up in bed with next?! The days of real "STARS" has long since passed, (Cagney, Bogart, Burton, Harris) for hells sake! There is no talent in the "entertainment"  industry and, the big $$$ players are all so empty headed they think that they should be quoted, listened to, and emulated! Overpaid court jesters is all they are. To bad the penalty for failing to please the audience isn't still the same!(Death)


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