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George Formby Net Worth: £3M
Who Is George Formby?
George Formby was a British actor who had a net worth of £3M.
Given Formby was born in 1904, the net worth he managed to accumulate was extremely large for someone in the early 1990s.
He is perhaps most famous for playing his Ukulele.
The Early Years
George Formby was born George Hoy Booth at 3 Westminster Street, Wigan, Lancashire, on 26 May 1904.
He was the eldest of seven surviving children born to James Lawler Booth and his wife Eliza, née Hoy, although this marriage was bigamous because Formby Sr was still married to his first wife, Martha Maria Salter, a twenty-year-old music hall performer.
Booth was a successful music hall comedian and singer who performed under the name George Formby (he is now known as George Formby Sr).
Formby Sr suffered from a chest ailment, known as bronchitis or asthma and would use the cough as part of the humour in his act, saying to the audience, “Bronchitis, I’m a bit tight tonight”, or “coughing better tonight”.
In 1906 Formby Sr was earning £35 a week at the music halls, which rose to £325 a week by 1920, and Formby grew up in an affluent home.
Formby Sr was so popular that Marie Lloyd, the influential music hall singer and actress, would only watch two acts: his and that of Dan Leno.
In 1915 Formby Sr allowed his son to appear on screen, taking the lead in By the Shortest of Heads, a thriller directed by Bert Haldane in which Formby played a stable boy who outwits a gang of villains and wins a £10,000 prize when he comes first in a horse race.
The film is now considered lost, with the last-known copy having been destroyed in 1940.
Later in 1915, and with the closure of the English racing season because of the First World War, Formby moved to Ireland where he continued as a jockey until November 1918.
In the same month he returned to England and raced for Lord Derby at his Newmarket stables. Formby continued as a jockey until 1921, although he never won a race.
On 21 March 1921 Formby gave his first professional appearance in a two-week run at the Hippodrome in Earlestown, Lancashire, where he received a fee of £5 a week.
In the show he was billed as George Hoy, using his mother’s maiden name—he explained later that he did not want the Formby name to appear in small print.
His father’s name was used in the posters and advertising, George Hoy being described as “Comedian. (son of George Formby)”.
While still appearing in Earlestown Formby was hired to appear at the Moss Empire chain of theatres for £17 10s a week.
In 1923 Formby started to play the ukulele, although the exact circumstances of how he came to play the instrument are unknown, and he introduced it into his act during a run at the Alhambra Theatre in Barnsley.
When the songs—still his father’s material—were well received, he changed his stage name to George Formby, and stopped using the John Willie character.
Another significant event was his appearance in Castleford, West Yorkshire, where appearing on the same bill was Beryl Ingham, an Accrington-born champion clogdancer and actress who had won the All England Step Dancing title at the age of 11.
Beryl, who had formed a dancing act with her sister, May, called “The Two Violets”, had a low opinion of Formby’s act, and later said that “if I’d had a bag of rotten tomatoes with me I’d have thrown them at him”.
Beryl took over as George’s manager, and changed aspects of his act, including the songs and jokes.
She instructed him on how to use his hands, and how to work his audience. She also persuaded him to change his stage dress to black tie. However, he appeared in a range of other costumes too—and to take lessons in how to play the ukulele properly.
With Formby’s growing success on stage, Beryl decided it was time for him to move into films. In 1934 she approached the producer Basil Dean, the head of Associated Talking Pictures (ATP).
Although he expressed an interest in Formby, he did not like the associated demands from Beryl. She also met the representative of Warner Bros. in the UK, Irving Asher, who was dismissive, saying that Formby was “too stupid to play the bad guy and too ugly to play the hero”.
Three weeks later Formby was approached by John E. Blakeley of Blakeley’s Productions, who offered him a one-film deal.
In 1938 Formby began work on Trouble Brewing, released the following year with 19-year-old Googie Withers as the female lead; Kimmins again directed.
Withers later recounted that Formby did not speak to her until, during a break in filming when Beryl was not present, he whispered out of the corner of his mouth “I’m sorry, love, but you know, I’m not allowed to speak to you”, something she thought was “very sweet”.
Top 5 George Formby Quotes
Don’t forget, it’s wonderful to be British. – George Formby
I’ll hang up my uke on Sundays only when our lads stop fighting and getting killed on Sundays. – George Formby
In my profession, I’ll work hard, I know I’ll never stop. I’ll climb this blinking ladder, Till I get right to the top. – George Formby
I’m just a clown without the make-up, the circus clown who magnifies the reactions of ordinary people to the things that happen around them. – George Formby
That’s it. So long as the government keeps bleeding me dry, I shan’t be in much of a hurry to work again. – George Formby
George Formby was a British actor and his net worth was £3M when he passed away.
He starred in many famous films in the early 1990s.
However, he is most commonly associated with playing a Ukulele.
At his death, George Formby’s net worth stood at £3M.
What do you think about George Formby’s net worth? Leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: This information is correct to the best of our knowledge. If you think any information is incorrect about George Formby’s net worth, let us know and we will update it. Info collated from Wikipedia.