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Eric Morecambe
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    (May 14, 1926-May 28, 1984)
    Born in Morecambe, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was John Eric Bartholomew
    Half of the comedy duo of Morecambe and Wise
    Starred in the British TV series 'Two of a Kind' (1961-68) and 'The Morecambe and Wise Show' (1968-83)
    Appeared in the films 'The Intelligence Men' (1965), 'That Riviera Touch' (1966), 'The Magnificient Two' (1967) and 'Night Train to Murder' (1983)
    Wrote the novels 'Mr. Lonely' (1981), 'The Reluctant Vampire' (1982) and 'The Vampire's Revenge' (1983)
    One of his recurring gags was deliberately getting the names of the show's guest stars wrong.
    A combination of overwork and a 60 cigarettes a day habit caused him to have his first heart attack at age 42.
    He was a hypochondriac but initially dismissed the pain shooting down his arm from the heart attack as tennis elbow.
    He switched from cigarettes to a pipe but continued to obsessively overwork and had a second heart attack (1979).
    Two months before his death, he told his wife, 'If I have another heart attack it will kill me, and if I do another Morecambe and Wise series, I will have another heart attack.'
    During his last performance, he talked about how comedian Tommy Cooper had died during a live broadcast and how he would hate to die like that. During his final curtain call, he suffered a third, fatal heart attack.
    He was a keen birdwatcher.
    Morecambe and Wise's 1977 Christmas show was watched by 28 million viewers - half of Britain's population.
    The Daily Telegraph said he 'could be funny just by being there.'
    A larger-than-life statue of him in his hometown became one of the most visited attractions in northwest England.
    In a British internet poll, he was named funniest person of the 20th century, beating out Tommy Cooper and John Cleese.

Credit: C. Fishel

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