Leslie Henson

Leslie Lincoln Henson (3 August 1891 – 2 December 1957) was an English comedian, actor, producer for films and theatre, and film director. He initially worked in silent films and Edwardian musical comedy and became a popular music hall comedian who enjoyed a long stage career. He was famous for his bulging eyes, malleable face and raspy voice and helped to form the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) during the Second World War.

Born in Notting Hill, London, Henson became interested in the theatre from an early age, writing and producing theatrical pieces while at school. He studied with "the Cairns–James School of Musical and Dramatic Art as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of 19. His first West End role was in Nicely, Thanks! (1912) and he later starred in several hit West End Edwardian musical comedies, including To-Night's the Night (1915) and Yes, Uncle! (1917). After briefly serving with the Royal Flying Corps, he was released from active service by the British government to help run a concert party called "The Gaieties", which provided entertainment for the troops during World War I. After the war, he returned to the West End, playing in Kissing Time (1919) and a series of musical comedies and farces throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

At the start of World War II, together with Basil Dean, he helped to form ENSA, with which he entertained British troops abroad. Henson's postwar stage success continued in revues, musicals and plays, including a West End adaptation of The Diary of a Nobody in 1955. Henson's film career was intermittent, and he made 14 films from 1916 to 1956. The most notable of these was Tons of Money in 1924, which introduced the popular Aldwych farces to British cinema audiences. In 1956, Henson's friend Bobby Hullett died in circumstances that struck him as suspicious. Henson anonymously notified the police that her doctor, John Bodkin Adams, should be investigated. Adams was subsequently tried for a different murder but acquitted.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 3, 1891 (Notting Hill), Died December 2, 1957 (Harrow Weald)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1919 - 1921

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 74178 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 Coo Davy Burnaby ; Leslie Henson ; Willie Redstone ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Male vocal duet, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74179 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 It'll be all the same Leslie Henson ; Willie Redstone ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74180 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 The missis is going away Leslie Henson ; Willie Redstone ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74181 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 Why didn't we meet before Leslie Henson ; Willie Redstone ; Lily St. John ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Vocal duet with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74182 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 Bolshevik trio Leslie Henson ; Fred Leslie ; Willie Redstone ; Lily St. John ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Vocal trio, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74183 12-in. approximately 11/9/1920 Looking around Leslie Henson ; Willie Redstone ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 74368 12-in. approximately 10/7/1921 The Schnitza-Komisski John Ansell ; Leslie Henson ; Winter Garden Theatre Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76478 12-in. either May or June 1919 The happy family Yvonne Arnaud ; George Grossmith Jr. ; Leslie Henson Vocal trio, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76480 12-in. either May or June 1919 I like it Yvonne Arnaud ; George Grossmith Jr. ; Leslie Henson Vocal trio, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76485 12-in. either May or June 1919 A little touch of spring Leslie Henson ; Tom Walls Male vocal duet, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76486 12-in. either May or June 1919 Don't fall in love with me Phyllis Dare ; Leslie Henson Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76489 12-in. either May or June 1919 Motoring Leslie Henson Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  
Columbia 76490 12-in. either May or June 1919 Women haven't any mercy on a man Leslie Henson Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Henson, Leslie," accessed December 4, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/356469.

Henson, Leslie. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/356469.

"Henson, Leslie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 4 December 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/356469

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