Wee Georgie Wood

George Wood Bamlett OBE (17 December 1895 in Jarrow, County Durham 19 February 1979 [some sources say 26 March 1979] in Bloomsbury, London), was known professionally as Wee Georgie Wood, was a British actor and comedian who appeared in films,[1] plays and music hall revues.

Biography

Wood, who was a dwarf, worked most his professional life in the guise of a child, appearing in comic and sentimental sketches. He also wrote a column in the weekly The Stage newspaper. He was a stalwart of the Savage Club.

Wood, who, when fully grown, was 4 ft 9 in (1.45 m), started his long music hall and variety career at the age of five. Discovering that she had found her own home-made Eldorado, his mother Georgina (née Wood) managed his life off and on stage. Wood continued performing for over 50 years and was considered to have been one of the most successful pantomime stars of his era. He was originally billed as 'the Boy Phenomenon', but he dropped the name after one theatre advertised him as 'the Boy Euphonium'.[2]

Wood was a tireless worker for charity, and a very funny comedian; but his lack of inches was a constant grief to him. He nearly married once, but the girl's mother begged him to end the relationship, saying: "Let's face it Georgie, you're a midget." Although he became rich and famous, Wood never forgot the remark and could never recount the story without bursting into tears.[2]

Wood was inducted into the prestigious show business charitable fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats and served as "King Rat" in 1936.

With age and experience, Wood mellowed. He even learned to treat his shortness with a degree of humour.[2]

Wood was awarded the OBE for services to the entertainment industry in the King's Birthday Honours List, which was announced on 24 June 1946.[3] He died at Gordon Mansions in Bloomsbury, London on 19 February 1979 aged 83.[2]

Wee Georgie Wood is mentioned at the end of the song "Dig It" from the Beatles' album Let It Be. He is also mentioned in the Last of the Summer Wine episode "A Short Blast of Fred Astair" when Pearl tells her husband Howard he's not "big enough to be Wee Georgie Wood!".

Selected filmography

See also

Notes

  1. "Wee Georgie Wood".
  2. Bushell, Peter (1983). London's Secret History. Constable. pp. 179–180.
  3. Sunderland Echo, 24 June 1946, page 4

Further reading

  • Wood, Georgie (1948). I had to be Wee. London: Hutchinson & Co. Autobiography


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