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Also Known As: Lenworth George Henry Died:
Born: August 29, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: West Midlands, England, GB Profession: actor, comedian, steelworker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This black British comic quickly rose to fame as a teenaged impressionist. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Lenny Henry started doing impersonations in his early teens, eventually winning the TV talent showcase "New Faces" in 1975. With his newfound fame, he went on to make guest appearances on popular comedies (i.e., "The Fosters") and children's shows (e.g., "TISWAS") before teaming with Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield for the variety show "Three of a Kind" (1981). Henry went on to headline a number of other variety series before eventually turning to character comedy. In 1984, he toured with "Stand Up-Get Down", based on his popular recording. Some found his routines abrasive and somewhat racist; wiping sweat from his brow, he would tell the predominantly white audience that it tasted like chocolate. As he matured, Henry moved into more character based comedy, eventually headlining his own sitcom (the self-titled "The Lenny Henry Show" in 1987-88). He found international fame, at least with discerning viewers of public television in the USA, playing the sometimes exasperated titular "Chef!", a sitcom he headlined for three seasons in England from 1993-96.

This black British comic quickly rose to fame as a teenaged impressionist. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Lenny Henry started doing impersonations in his early teens, eventually winning the TV talent showcase "New Faces" in 1975. With his newfound fame, he went on to make guest appearances on popular comedies (i.e., "The Fosters") and children's shows (e.g., "TISWAS") before teaming with Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield for the variety show "Three of a Kind" (1981). Henry went on to headline a number of other variety series before eventually turning to character comedy. In 1984, he toured with "Stand Up-Get Down", based on his popular recording. Some found his routines abrasive and somewhat racist; wiping sweat from his brow, he would tell the predominantly white audience that it tasted like chocolate. As he matured, Henry moved into more character based comedy, eventually headlining his own sitcom (the self-titled "The Lenny Henry Show" in 1987-88). He found international fame, at least with discerning viewers of public television in the USA, playing the sometimes exasperated titular "Chef!", a sitcom he headlined for three seasons in England from 1993-96.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Penelope (2006)
3.
4.
 Bernard And The Genie (1991) Josephus--The Genie
5.
 True Identity (1991) Miles Pope
6.
 Lenny Live (1989)
7.
 Work Experience (1989)
9.
 Suicide Club, The (1987) Cam
10.
 Steve Martin Seriously Funny (2000) Narration
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1971:
Began doing impersonations at age 13 (date approximate)
1973:
Entered an impersonation contest at a local club at age 15 (date approximate)
1975:
Started professional career in comedy on British TV by competing in and winning the talent showcase "New Faces"
1976:
Appeared on British TV sitcoms such as "The Fosters" and the children's show "TISWAS"
1981:
Co-starred with Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield in the variety series "Three of a Kind"; also wrote material
1982:
Co-starred on series "OTT" (ITV)
1984:
Hosted his own program "The Lenny Henry Show" (BBC)
1984:
Recorded first comedy album <i>Stand Up-Get Down</i>
1984:
Toured England with "Stand Up-Get Down" show
1985:
Second national tour with "The Totally Fierce Tour"
:
Formed Crucial Films
1986:
Featured on the BBC series "Lenny Henry Tonite"
1987:
Feature film debut, "The Suicide Club"
1987:
Once again starred on the comedy series "The Lenny Henry Show" (BBC)
1989:
Wrote and starred in the concert film "Lenny Live/Lenny Henry Live and Unleashed"
1991:
U.S. film debut, "True Identity"
1991:
Played the Genie in the children's film "Bernard and the Genie" (released on video in the USA)
1993:
Starred for three seasons on the British sitcom "Chef!" (BBC)
1999:
Landed lead on BBC-1's sitcom "Hope & Glory"
2004:
Cast in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n
2006:
Appeared in the fantasy comedy "Penelope"
2008:
Cast in British family series "Big and Small"
2012:
Voiced Peg Leg Hastings in the animated adventure "Pirates! Band of Misfits"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Henry has appeared in several philanthropic events including "Comic Relief", "Lenny Henry and Friends", a benefit for children with Sickle Cell Anemia and Polio; and the film, "Chasing the Bandwagon" which warned children about the dangers of drugs.

Made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Dawn French. Actor, writer. Married on October 20, 1984.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Bille Henry. Adopted with Dawn French in 1992.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Lenny Henry: A Biography"

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