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Tommy Cooper, one of the most well-known British comedians of all time, was a living legend. The lanky youngster, born Thomas Frederick Cooper, had always had a fascination with magic. His parents were advised at the time of his birth that he might not survive childhood; not only did he survive, but he also grew up to be a behemoth of a young man, at 6′ 4 inches tall. His future profession was mapped out by a magic set given to him by his aunt when he was a child. When he was only 16, he worked as a magician on a yacht. His first performance, however, was a flop, and the audience began to laugh. Though he was hurt at the moment, he saw that combining magic and humor could create a distinct form of entertainment, which he did. Before World War II, he was drafted into the army, and when he couldn’t find his customary hat during a performance in Cairo, he grabbed a red fez—a traditional hat—and wore it on his head. The audience erupted in laughter at this move, and the comedian’s fez became a trademark.

Childhood and Adolescence

In South Wales, he was born to an army recruiting Sergeant Thomas Cooper and his wife Gertrude.
Tommy’s family relocated to Devon when he was three years old, and he picked up the West Country accent that became part of his act.

Mount Radford School for Boys was his alma mater.
When he was eight years old, his aunt gave him a magic set. He eagerly practiced the skills until they were perfected.

When he was 16, he was hired as a magician on a boat. Because of his stage nervousness, the young child botched up his magical acts. The performance was a flop, and the audience roared with laughter.
He was gravely damaged by the boat disaster, but he later recognized that by combining unsuccessful magic acts with humor, he could create a genuinely amusing routine.

Tommy Cooper’s Career

When World War II broke out, he volunteered in the army. In 1940, he joined the Royal Horse Guards unit of the British Army as a trooper.
He served in Egypt as a member of Montgomery’s Desert Rats.

He began honing his magic and comedy skills as a member of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) entertainment party. He had created a routine that merged magic and comedy, and he was looking for ways to polish it.

He was once obliged to don a costume that included a pith helmet while performing in Cairo. He misplaced the helmet, so to locate a replacement immediately, he grabbed a fez from a waiter’s head and wore it on his own. The audience was enthralled by this gesture and burst out laughing! His signature crimson fez was born.

He was demobilized in 1947 after serving in the army for seven years and went into show business.
In 1947, he met Miff Ferrie, a trombonist with The Jackdaws, who helped him get a job with the band. In the show ‘Marqueeze and the Dance of the Seven Veils,’ he appeared as a comic.

He spent the next two years performing and traveling Europe. He worked extremely hard to establish his profession, performing 52 gigs in a week at the Windmill Theatre at one point.

In March 1948, he made his television debut on the BBC talent show ‘New to You.’ The show’s success led to a successful television career as a stand-up comedian.

As a magician and comic in the 1950s and 1960s, he was extremely popular. He was a very competent magician, despite the fact that he frequently screwed up his acts for humorous effect.

From 1968 to 1972, he hosted his own shows on London Weekend Television. From 1973 through 1980, he hosted shows on Thames television.

In the 1970s, he was one of the most popular comedians. Even before he started performing, he had an intrinsic funny element about him that made people laugh.

Despite his professional success, he could not avoid his vices as a man. He was a heavy drinker, and by the mid-1970s, his habit had begun to affect both his career and personal life.
In 1984, he died of a heart attack while performing on the variety show ‘Life From Her Majesty’s,’ which was broadcast live around the world to millions of fans.

Tommy’s Major Projects

He is best known as the huge comic with the red fez who made millions of people laugh over the course of a nearly four-decade career. Cooper was a naturally hilarious person who could make others laugh just by being around him, and it was this trait that made him immortal in the hearts of his followers.

Personal History and Legacy

From 1947 until his death, he was married to Gwen Henty. They had two kids together.
He struggled with alcoholism, which wreaked havoc on his marriage. He physically abused his wife, forcing her to seek counseling for domestic violence.
From 1967 to his death, he had an affair with his personal aide Mary Fieldhouse.

On April 15, 1984, while playing live during a television variety show, he suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Estimated Net worth

Tommy is one of the wealthiest celebrities and one of the most well-known. Tommy Cooper’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Trivia

Fellow comedians rated him the sixth greatest comedic actor of all time in the 2005 poll ‘The Comedians’ Comedian.’
Throughout his career, he had the same agency.