Francis Alex Howard
English comedian and actor
Born in York, he made his debut at the Stage Door Canteen, Piccadilly, London, in 1946, and appeared in revues in London during the 1950s, including Out of This World (1950), Pardon My French (1953) and Way Out In Piccadilly (1960). He occasionally acted in plays and gave a notable performance in Stephen Sondheim's musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963). He appeared in the radio show Variety Bandbox (1946-47) and on television in the Howerd Crowd (1952), Frankie Howerd (1964-65), The Frankie Howerd Show (1969) and, most memorably, as Roman slave Lurcio in Up Pompeii! (1969-70), which spawned three film spin-offs, Up Pompeii (1971), Up the Chastity Belt (1971) and Up the Front (1972). His other films included The Ladykillers (1955), The Fast Lady (1962), The Mouse on the Moon (1963), Carry On Doctor (1967) and The House in Nightmare Park (1973).