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Michael Bentine
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Comedian
    (January 26, 1922-November 26, 1996)
    Born in Watford, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Michael Bentin
    Founding member of the Goons with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe
    Hosted the shows 'The Bumblies' (1954), 'It's a Square World' (1960-64) and 'Michael Bentine's Potty Time' (1973-80)
    Appeared in the films 'Down Among the Z Men' (1952), 'Raising a Riot' (1955), 'I Only Arsked!' (1958), 'We Joined the Navy' (1962), 'The Sandwich Man' (1966) and 'Rentadick' (1972)
    Named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to entertainment (1995)
    He claimed to have psychic powers, including the ability to tell which members of his RAF unit would survive WWII.
    He turned Peter Sellers onto the occult, ultimately leading to Sellers' decision to see psychic suregeons about his heart problems.
    He left the Goons after one year due to clashes with Spike Milligan.
    He was offered the chance to play the 4th Doctor on Doctor Who, but his insistence that he be allowed to contribute to the scripts sunk the deal.
    When his oldest grandson was born, he tried to give him a WWI-era machine gun. (His daughter-in-law refused to accept it.)
    When he was being vaccinated against typhoid upon joining the RAF in WWII, he was accidentally injected with a pure culture of typhoid, which put him in a coma for six months and ruined his eyesight, leaving him severely myopic for the rest of his life.
    Because of his eyesight, he was transferred to intelligence, working for a unit that supported the resistance and helped POWs escape.
    He was married to ballet dancer Clementina Stuart for over 50 years.
    He outlived three of his children: his daughters Elaine and Marylla died of cancer and his son Stuart died in the crash of Piper Cub airplane.
    He received the Peruvian Order of Merit for raising funds for disaster relief following an earthquake (1971).
    He was interested in astronomy and was twice a guest on Patrick Moore's 'The Sky at Night.'
    He was considered the unofficial mascot of the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic team, who performed a flyover during his funeral.

Credit: C. Fishel


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