British music stars born in 1908

Here are 9 famous musicians from United Kingdom were born in 1908:

Michael Redgrave

Michael Redgrave (March 20, 1908 Bristol-March 21, 1985 Denham) also known as Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, Red Redgrave, Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, CBE, Sir Michael Redgrave or Michael Scudamore Redgrave was a British actor, theatre director, film director, teacher, writer, screenwriter, playwright, voice actor and author. He had three children, Corin Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave.

Redgrave began his acting career in the 1930s, appearing in both stage plays and films. He is perhaps best known for his roles in films such as "The Lady Vanishes" (1938), "Dead of Night" (1945), and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1952). He was also a respected theatre director, with his productions of works by Shakespeare and other classic playwrights receiving critical acclaim.

In addition to his work on stage and screen, Redgrave was also an accomplished author, writing several books on topics such as acting and Shakespearean theatre. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952, and was knighted in 1959 for his contributions to the arts.

Despite his many successes, Redgrave's personal life was marked by tragedy. His daughter Natasha Richardson died at the age of 45 from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a skiing accident. His son Corin died in 2010 at the age of 70, after a long battle with prostate cancer. Despite these losses, Redgrave's legacy as a talented actor and influential figure in the world of theatre and film continues to be celebrated today.

Redgrave's talent as an actor was recognized both in the UK and abroad. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the film "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1947), and won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe for his role in the film "The Browning Version" (1951). He was also a founding member of the Royal National Theatre, serving as its artistic director from 1973 to 1983.

Redgrave was known for his commitment to social and political causes. He was a vocal opponent of nuclear weapons and an advocate for peace, speaking at rallies and writing articles on the subject. He also supported numerous charities, including the Red Cross and Amnesty International.

In addition to his acting and directing work, Redgrave was a respected teacher of drama. He taught at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and wrote several books on the subject, including "Mask or Face" and "The Actor's Ways and Means."

Redgrave's contributions to the arts were recognized throughout his lifetime. In addition to his CBE and knighthood, he was named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France and received a special Tony Award for his contributions to theatre. He passed away in 1985 at the age of 77, leaving behind a lasting legacy as one of Britain's greatest actors and theatre directors.

During his career, Redgrave worked alongside many famous actors and actresses, including Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, and Peggy Ashcroft. He also starred in numerous Shakespearean productions, such as "Hamlet," "King Lear," and "Macbeth." Redgrave was praised for his ability to convey complex emotions on stage and screen, and his performances were often noted for their intensity and depth.

In addition to his work on stage and screen, Redgrave was also a dedicated family man. He and his wife, actress Rachel Kempson, were married for more than 50 years and had three children together. All three of their children followed in their parents' footsteps and pursued careers in the entertainment industry.

Redgrave's impact on the world of theatre and film continues to be felt to this day. His legacy as an actor, director, and teacher remains an inspiration to aspiring artists around the world, and his commitment to social and political causes serves as a reminder of the power of the arts to effect change.

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Howard Ferguson

Howard Ferguson (October 21, 1908 Belfast-October 31, 1999 Cambridge) was a British , .

His most important albums: British Violin Sonatas, Volume One.

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Eric Spear

Eric Spear (April 18, 1908 Croydon-November 3, 1966 Southampton) a.k.a. Eric Bertram Spear was a British film score composer. He had one child, Susan Spear.

Spear is best known for composing the iconic theme tune for the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street. He was responsible for creating the show's original theme in 1960, which has undergone minor changes over the years but remains instantly recognizable to viewers of the show.

Aside from Coronation Street, Spear also composed music for several British films, including Two Thousand Women (1944), The Yellow Balloon (1953), and Desperate Moment (1953). He was also an accomplished pianist and conductor.

Spear passed away in 1966 at the age of 58 in Southampton, England. His legacy continues to be felt through his enduring contribution to British television and film music.

Spear's musical talent was evident from a young age, as he started playing the piano at just four years old. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and went on to become a prolific composer, with his work featured in numerous films and television shows. In addition to his work as a composer, Spear was also a respected conductor, leading many orchestras around the world. He even conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra on occasion.

Despite his success as a composer, Spear was known for his humility and unassuming nature. He was reportedly thrilled to have been given the opportunity to compose the Coronation Street theme, but never expected it to become the iconic tune it is today.

Spear's contributions to British television and film music continue to be celebrated today. In 2010, a plaque was unveiled in his honor on the street where he was born in Croydon, recognizing his significant contribution to British culture. His enduring legacy is a testament to his musical talent and his impact on the entertainment industry.

Spear's musical career began in the 1930s, where he played piano in various jazz bands in London. He also worked as a part-time cinema organist, which helped him gain experience in composing scores for silent films. In the 1940s, he became a regular composer for British films, including the wartime drama, The Next of Kin (1942), and the comedy, Champagne Charlie (1944).

Apart from his work in the film industry, Spear was also an active member of the British music scene. He composed music for the 1951 Festival of Britain and was the conductor for the London Symphony Orchestra's recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations in 1955. He also worked on various stage productions, including the West End musical, Zip Goes a Million, which premiered in 1951.

In addition to his accomplishments in the music industry, Spear was also an officer in the Royal Engineers during World War II. He was awarded the military MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services during the war.

Spear's contribution to Coronation Street remains his most enduring legacy. The iconic theme music he composed has become synonymous with the show and is instantly recognizable to audiences across the world. Despite his passing over 50 years ago, his music continues to be played on the show, a testament to his enduring contribution to British television.

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John Mills

John Mills (February 22, 1908 North Elmham-April 23, 2005 Denham) a.k.a. Lewis Ernest Watts Mills, Sir John Mills, Johnny, Johnny Mills or Sir John Mills CBE was a British actor. His children are called Hayley Mills, Juliet Mills and Jonathan Mills.

John Mills was one of Britain's most beloved actors, having appeared in over 120 films during his long career. He began acting in 1929 and became a star in the 1940s with roles in films such as "This Happy Breed" and "Great Expectations". Mills won an Academy Award for his role in the film "Ryan's Daughter" in 1970 and was knighted in 1976. He appeared in a range of films throughout his career, from war dramas to comedies, and was known for his ability to bring depth and humanity to his roles. In addition to his successful acting career, Mills was also a dedicated supporter of charities, including Save the Children and the NSPCC. After his death at the age of 97, he was remembered as a true legend of British cinema.

Mills originally wanted to join the Royal Navy but was denied entry due to a problem with his hearing. This led him to pursue acting instead, and he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He made his stage debut in 1929 and his film debut in 1932. Mills served in the British Army during World War II, and his experiences influenced his later roles as soldiers in films such as "Ice Cold in Alex" and "The Colditz Story".

In addition to his work on screen, Mills was also an accomplished stage actor, appearing in numerous productions in the West End and on Broadway. His notable stage work includes "Ross" and "The Good Companions". Mills also wrote his own memoir, "Up in the Clouds, Gentlemen Please", which was published in 1980.

Mills was married to playwright Mary Hayley Bell from 1941 until her death in 2005. Their daughter, Hayley Mills, became a successful actress in her own right. Mills was known for his down-to-earth charm and his dedication to his family and career. He remained active in the film industry well into his nineties, and his final film appearance was in "Bright Young Things" in 2003.

Despite his successful career, Mills faced some personal struggles. In the 1960s, he battled depression and alcoholism, which he attributed to the pressure of being a public figure. He sought treatment and was able to overcome these challenges, later becoming an advocate for mental health awareness. Mills also faced criticism for his decision to continue acting in controversial films such as "Oh! What a Lovely War" and "The Big Sleep" in the 1960s and 1970s, which some saw as not befitting his status as a respected actor. Nevertheless, Mills remained a beloved figure in British cinema, and his contribution to the industry was recognized with numerous awards and honors throughout his life.

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Laurence Naismith

Laurence Naismith (December 14, 1908 Thames Ditton-June 5, 1992 Southport) a.k.a. Lawrence Johnson or Lawrence Naismith was a British actor, soldier, instructor, entrepreneur, merchant navy, martial artist and character actor.

He began his acting career in the 1930s and appeared in a variety of productions on stage, television, and film. Naismith is perhaps best known for his role as the judge in the 1962 film "The Trials of Oscar Wilde" and for his recurring role as the chancellor in the 1980s TV series "Doctor Who". In addition to his acting career, Naismith served in the British Army during World War II and was an experienced martial artist. He was also an entrepreneur and co-founded a successful drama school in the 1940s. Naismith's career in the arts spanned over six decades, and he was widely respected for his talent and versatility as an actor.

Naismith was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, England in 1908. He started his acting career in the 1930s and appeared in several West End productions, including "Romeo and Juliet" and "Macbeth". Naismith also worked in British films during the 1940s and 1950s, including "The Wooden Horse" (1950) and "Mogambo" (1953). His international success came when he played an Egyptian high priest in the Hollywood blockbuster "The Mummy" (1959).

In addition to his acting career, Naismith was a skilled martial artist and taught self-defense techniques to actors and soldiers during his time in the British Army. He also co-founded the Guildford School of Acting with his wife in 1935. The drama school became a well-respected institution and trained several successful actors, including Michael Ball and Bill Nighy.

Naismith continued to work in television and film throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with appearances in popular series such as "The Avengers" and "Crown Court". He also had a recurring role in the science-fiction series "Doctor Who" as the chancellor.

Naismith died in Southport, Merseyside, England in 1992 at the age of 83. He is remembered as a versatile and accomplished actor who contributed to the British film and television industry for over six decades.

Naismith's contributions were acknowledged by the British government when he was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama. Naismith was also involved in charitable work and served as a trustee for several organizations, including the Actors' Benevolent Fund and the Dr. Barnardo's charity for children. He was known for his kind and generous personality and was respected by his peers in the industry. Naismith is also remembered for his extensive collection of antique weapons, which he acquired during his travels around the world. His collection was sold at auction after his death and was highly valued by collectors. Naismith's legacy as an actor, martial artist, and entrepreneur continues to be celebrated by fans and scholars of British cinema and television.

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Rex Harrison

Rex Harrison (March 5, 1908 Huyton-June 2, 1990 New York City) otherwise known as Reginald Carey Harrison, Sir Rex Harrison, Sexy Rexy, Sir Reginald Carey "Rex" Harrison or Sir Reginald Carey Harrison was a British actor. His children are Noel Harrison, Carey Harrison, Damian Harris and Jamie Harris.

His most recognized albums: My Fair Lady (1956 original Broadway cast).

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Spike Hughes

Spike Hughes (October 19, 1908 London-February 2, 1987) also known as Patrick "Spike" Cairns Hughe or Patrick Cairns Hughes was a British bandleader and film score composer.

He was born in London, England and was the son of a Scottish father and an English mother. Hughes began his career as a jazz bassist in the 1920s, playing with bands like Harry Roy's Bat Club Boys and Jack Hylton's Orchestra. He later formed his own band, Spike Hughes and His Decca-Dents, which featured some of the top musicians of the time, including Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins.

In addition to his career as a bandleader and musician, Hughes was also a prolific composer and arranger. He wrote music for films such as "The Gang's All Here" (1939) and "Rhythm Serenade" (1943), as well as for radio and television broadcasts.

During World War II, Hughes served in the Royal Air Force and was stationed in India, where he continued to play music and record with local musicians. After the war, he returned to England and worked as a disc jockey and music critic, as well as continuing to perform and record.

Despite his contributions to the world of music, Hughes is perhaps best remembered today for his writing. He was a passionate and insightful critic, and wrote numerous articles and reviews for magazines such as Melody Maker and Punch. He also authored several books, including "The Real Jazz" (1960) and "The Story of Jazz" (1975), which remain important works in the field of jazz history.

Hughes was not only a musician and a writer but also a talented broadcaster. He received a degree in radio journalism from Columbia University and went on to host programs for the BBC and the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Hughes is credited with introducing many African and Caribbean musicians to European audiences, helping to popularize world music in the UK.Hughes was also an advocate for civil rights throughout his life. He was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and used his platform as a writer and broadcaster to speak out against racism and discrimination.In his later years, Hughes continued to write and contribute to the world of jazz. He passed away in 1987, leaving behind a legacy as a pioneering bandleader, composer, writer, and champion of civil rights.

Hughes' influence on jazz and music history cannot be overstated. His work as a bandleader and composer helped shape the sound of jazz in the 1920s and 30s, and his contributions to music criticism and broadcasting helped introduce audiences to new and diverse styles of music.

In addition to his contributions as an artist, Hughes was also a mentor to many younger musicians. He helped launch the careers of several up-and-coming artists, including saxophonist Benny Carter and arranger Sy Oliver.

Overall, Spike Hughes was a true Renaissance man of music, whose contributions to the art form extended far beyond his own performances and recordings. He was a multi-talented and visionary artist whose work continues to inspire musicians and jazz enthusiasts today.

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Gordon Parry

Gordon Parry (July 24, 1908 Aintree-May 6, 1981) was a British film director and film producer. He had one child, Natasha Parry.

Parry started his career in the film industry as an assistant editor before moving on to become an editor, cutting together over 30 films. After serving in World War II, he returned to the film industry and began directing films. He directed over 20 feature films, many of which starred British actors such as Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Lockwood, and James Mason.

Some of his notable films include "The Spider and the Fly" (1949), "The Guinea Pig" (1948), "Song of Paris" (1952), and "The Boy and the Bridge" (1959). He also produced several films, including "The White Sheik" (1952), which was directed by Federico Fellini.

Parry worked extensively in television towards the end of his career, directing popular British television series such as "The Saint" and "Department S". He was also a member of the British Film Academy and served on the jury for the Berlin Film Festival in 1959. Parry passed away in 1981 at the age of 72.

Throughout his career, Gordon Parry was known for his ability to move between genres and different styles of filmmaking. Despite this, he remained relatively unknown to many outside of the industry. Parry was a modest director who preferred to prioritise good storytelling over flashy effects or camera work. He was also known for being excellent at casting and working with actors, with many of his films featuring critically acclaimed performances. Parry played an important role in the development of British cinema and his influence continues to be felt today. In 2012, the British Film Institute held a retrospective of his work, which showcased his versatility as a director and his contribution to the British film industry.

His daughter, Natasha Parry, also had a successful career in the entertainment industry as an actress and television presenter. She appeared in several of her father's films including "Song of Paris" (1952) and "The Boy and the Bridge" (1959).Parry was known for his attention to detail and meticulousness on set. He was also highly regarded for his ability to work within tight budgets and schedules, making him a valuable asset to producers. Despite not being a household name, Parry's contributions to British cinema were significant and helped shape the industry into what it is today.

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Vivian Dunn

Vivian Dunn (December 24, 1908 Jabalpur-April 3, 1995 Haywards Heath) was a British , .

His albums: A Festival of British Light Music. Genres he performed: Martial music.

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