2 Sep 2012

Death of Max Bygraves

8:42 pm on 2 September 2012

British entertainer Max Bygraves who performed with Benny Hill and Spike Milligan has died in Australia.

His agent says he died in his sleep on Friday at his home in Hope Island, Queensland. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Bygraves, 89, performed on stage with Milligan, Hill, Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd during his heyday in the 1950s and 60s and often appeared at the London Palladium. He had 30 gold records and appeared in 20 Royal Variety Shows.

Tulips from Amsterdam was one of his hits. Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellenbogen By The Sea was another.

The BBC reports he was popular in the United States, where he performed with Judy Garland at the Palace Theatre in New York during a tour in the 1950s.

His catchphrase was "I wanna tell you a story".

The son of an East End boxer, Bygraves was awarded an OBE in 1983 and emigrated to Australia in 2005. His career spanned five decades. He also owned the rights to musical Oliver!.