Max Wall (Max Wall)

Max  Wall

English Comedian and Actor. He is best remembered for his ludicrously attired and hilariously strutting character ‘Professor Wallofski’. Born Maxwell George Lorimer in Brixton, London, England he was the son of Scottish comedy actor and music hall entertainer Jack Lorimer. In 1920 his father died of tuberculosis and his mother remarried and they all moved to Essex County, England. At the age of 14 he auditioned for a part with a touring theatre company, and made his stage debut as Jack in “Mother Goose” with a travelling pantomime company. In 1925 he was a specialty dancer in the London Revue at the Lyceum. Determined not to rely on his father’s name, he abbreviated Maxwell to Max, and his stepfather’s name Wallace, to Wall. After appearing in many musicals and stage comedies in the 1930s, including the 1938 comedy film “Save a Little Sunshine,” his career declined and he was reduced to working in obscure nightclubs. He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and served for three years until he was discharged in 1943. He re-emerged during the 1950s when producers and directors rediscovered his comic talents, along with the expressive power of his tragic clown face and the distinctive sad falling cadences of his voice. He played one of the inventors in the 1960s film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and in 1977 he played ‘King Bruno the Questionable’ in Terry Gilliam’s film “Jabberwocky.” He also secured television appearances and, having attracted Samuel Beckett’s attention, he won parts in “Waiting for Godot” in 1979 and “Krapp’s Last Tape” in 1984. In 1966 he appeared as Père Ubu in “Jarry’s Ubu Roi,” and in 1972 he toured with Mott the Hoople on their “Rock n’ Roll Circus Tour,” gaining a new audience. He also appeared in “Crossroads” (as Walter Soper, from 1982 to 1983), “Coronation Street” (as Harry Payne, 1978), and what was then “Emmerdale Farm” (as Arthur Braithwaite, 1978). He also played ex-con Ernie Dodds in “Minder” in 1982, with George Cole. In the 1970s and 1980s he occasionally performed a one-man stage show, ‘Aspects of Max Wall’ in which he recaptured the humor of old-time music hall theater. His last film appearance was in 1989 in the 12-minute film “A Fear of Silence,” a dark tale of a man who drives a stranger to a confession of murder by answering only “yes” or “no” to his questions; those two words, repeated, were his only dialogue. The film won a gold award in the New York Film and TV Festival. He died from a skull fracture after falling a Simpson’s Restaurant in London, England.

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Born

  • March, 12, 1908
  • England

Died

  • May, 22, 1990
  • England

Cemetery

  • Highgate Cemetery (East)
  • England

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