BEN WHITELEY






Ben Whiteley was an acrobat, clown and violinist of the act Tom, Dick and Harry.

 

He was born Benjamin Albert Whiteley on 2nd December 1901 in Kennington, London.

 

His first stage appearance was on 25 January 1915 at Gilbert's Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth.  

 

His first London appearance on 15th January 1917 at the Shoreditch Empire.

 

Ben was the second son of Mr and Mrs James Whiteley, founder of the renowned Contininental act THE FIVE WHITELEYS.   Their connection with Circus Theatrical famillies The Whiteleys, the Matthews and Delevantis dates back to 1812. 

 

Ben was an accomplished musician and tumbler, able to perform both forward and backward somersaults whilst playing the violin.

 

Ben met his wife LAUREL GRIFFITHS ( an ex-Madame Haley girl, also known as Harryette of the act Harryette, Hal and Laurel) during a pantomime engagement.

 

Ben went on to appear with eldest son and brother, touring under the name Tom, Dick and Harry.

 

Ben passed away on 26th April 1979 at Rochford Hospital, aged 77.