Frankie Howerd was an English comedian and comic actor best known for innuendo laden ad-libs.
Frankie wrote saucy plays and gags for his school magazine.
His first stage appearance was at age 13 but his early hopes of becoming a serious actor were dashed when he failed an audition for RADA. He began to entertain during World War II service in the British Army. It was at this time that he adapted his surname to Howerd "to be different". Despite suffering from stage fright, he continued to work after the war, beginning his professional career in the summer of 1946 in a touring show called For the Fun of It.
His act was soon heard on radio, when he made his debut, in early December 1946, on the BBC's Variety Bandbox programme with a number of other ex-servicemen. His profile rose in the immediate postwar period (aided with material written by Eric Sykes, Galton and Simpson and Johnny Speight). In 1954, he made his screen debut opposite Petula Clark in The Runaway Bus, which had been written for his specific comic talent. The film was so low-budget that it could not afford scenery; instead a fog-generator was used so that little was visible behind the action. The film, however, was an immediate hit, even though Howerd never established a major film presence thereafter.