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Lionel Blair Death, Biography, Wiki, Wife, Net worth | Who was Lionel Blair [Give Us a Clue]? Bio

Who was Lionel Blair?

Lionel Blair (born 12 December 1928 – 4 November 2021) was a Canadian-born British actor, choreographer, tap dancer, and television presenter. Making regular appearances as a dancer and entertainer on British television throughout the late 1960s, the 1970s and early 1980s, he also presented the quiz programme Name That Tune, and was a team captain on Give Us a Clue.

Lionel Blair Death, Cause Of Death

Veteran entertainer, TV presenter and dancer Lionel Blair has died aged 92.

Blair, whose stage and screen career spanned eight decades, died early on Thursday morning.

Best known as a team captain on game show Give Us A Clue, in recent years he acted in Ricky Gervais’s Extras and also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

Born in Canada in 1928, he moved to the UK as a young boy and began performing in air raid shelters in World War Two.

Broadcaster Danny Baker called him a “a true chum, an entertainer beyond compare, an archive of a golden era, an immeasurable talent”, adding that it was “impossible to think he won’t be in some green room somewhere, dropping names and living out fantastic tales”.

Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar said he met Blair at “numerous evenings over the years and he was always a gent, warm and fun”.

“I loved the fact that he’d always pepper every conversation with a bit of a tap dance. Every single time. And it was glorious,” the Goodness Gracious Me star added.

Singer Paul Young tweeted: “I’m really sad to hear about the passing of Lionel Blair; it’s wonderful to meet someone that was a TV star when you were small and to find them so impeccably gracious and charming in person. I learnt a lot from him! My condolences to his family.”

Lionel Blair Biography, Wiki

Henry Lionel Ogus was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His parents were Jewish: Myer Ogus (a barber) and Debora “Della” Greenbaum. His father emigrated from Russia to Canada to start a new life and his wife joined him shortly afterwards.

Blair came to Britain when he was two years old, and the family settled at Stamford Hill in north London, where his father continued to work as a barber. His parents were Jewish, but not orthodox; they would eat chicken on a Friday night, but also ate bacon. His first public performances were with his sister Joyce (1932–2006) in the Manor House Underground station air raid shelters and on the trains of the Piccadilly line during the air raids of the Second World War. During the Blitz, mother and children were evacuated to Oxford, but they returned to Stamford Hill after seeing a German plane crash. When Blair was thirteen, his father died.

Blair was singled out in several reviews for his performance as one of the children in a touring performance of the play Watch on the Rhine during 1943, and attended the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in 1944. In 1946, he joined a touring company called the Savoy Players.

Blair eventually rekindled his passion for musical theatre and began working in the West End. He gave up acting for dancing in 1947, although he subsequently appeared in the fringe production Out of the Blue (Chichester) and Who Killed Agatha Christie (national tour) among other acting credits. He took his stage name around this time, later changing it by deed poll just before he married in 1967 (his sister also decided to use the same surname professionally).

BornHenry Lionel Ogus
12 December 1928
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died4 November 2021 (aged 92)
OccupationActor, choreographer, tap dancer, television presenter
Years active1944–2021
Spouse(s)Susan Blair ​(m. 1967)​
Children3

Lionel Blair Personal life, Wife

Blair married Susan Davis at Kensington Register Office on 21 March 1967, with Bernie Winters as best man. They had three children and three grandchildren and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in March 2017.

On 21 September 2006, Blair and comedian Alan Carr helped save a man about to fall from a pier in Blackpool. The man was holding on by his fingers.

Blair died on the morning of 4 November 2021, at the age of 92.

Lionel Blair’s Career

Henry Lionel Ogus, as he was known before his showbusiness career, grew up in Stamford Hill, north London and was evacuated to Oxford when the war broke out.

His father died when he was 13 and the following year Blair began working as an actor, appearing in musical productions with his elder sister Joyce.

But it was his self-taught dancing skills – inspired by watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at the cinema and then copying their routines at home with Joyce – that Blair became best-known for through his long career.

Lionel Blair
Lionel Blair

He took part in a comedic dance-off against Sammy Davis Jr at the Royal Variety Performance in 1961 – which he later called the highlight of his entire career – and ensured his presence as a regular on the bill at future royal shows.

He played the role of a choreographer in the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night and life imitated art as he became a sought-after choreographer for films such the 1969 comedy The Magic Christian.

On television, he was choreographer for and appeared on programmes such as the Tommy Cooper Hour and the Jimmy Tarbuck Show, before becoming a judge on talent show New Faces in the late 1970s.

Blair became a household name as team captain opposite Una Stubbs – who also died earlier this year – on ITV’s long-running Give Us A Clue.

His friend, the actor and presenter Christopher Biggins, called him “the most wonderful [man], kind, funny, a real giver of life. His energy was extraordinary.”

Biggins said Blair was “very competitive” and “loved to win” on the game show. “He’s up there now entertaining with Una, I’m sure,” he said.

Blair was one of the stars who appeared on a Christmas special of the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras in 2007, as one of the housemates in a fictional version of Celebrity Big Brother.

Lionel Blair Career
Lionel Blair Career

It was a role he would take on for real in 2014, when he spent 15 days in the house, leaving after boxer Evander Holyfield and model Jasmine Waltz.

In 2017 he joined another reality TV show, The Real Marigold Hotel, and travelled around India with other older celebrities.

Lionel Blair’s FAQ

Who was Lionel Blair?

Lionel Blair (born Henry Lionel Ogus; 12 December 1928 – 4 November 2021) was a Canadian-born British actor, choreographer, tap dancer, and television presenter. Making regular appearances as a dancer and entertainer on British television throughout the late 1960s, the 1970s and early 1980s, he also presented the quiz programme Name That Tune, and was a team captain on Give Us a Clue.

What is Lionel Blair’s Wife’s Name?

Lionel Blair’s wife’s name is Susan Blair(m. 1967).

What is Lionel Blair’s Net worth?

Lionel Blair’s Net worth will be updated soon.

What was Lionel Blair’s Cause of Death?

Blair died on the morning of 4 November 2021, at the age of 92.

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