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British comedy veteran Ken Dodd dead at 90


LONDON — British comedian Ken Dodd, whose seven-decade career stretched from the music-hall era to the age of social media, has died, his publicist said Monday. He was 90.


Publicist Robert Holmes says Dodd died Sunday at his Liverpool home — the same house where he was born in 1927.


Dodd, who had recently been hospitalized with a chest infection, married his long-time partner Anne Jones on Friday.


Instantly recognizable for his mop of hair and crooked teeth, Dodd came up through the ranks of Britain’s variety circuit, where performers kept demanding crowds entertained with some songs, a bit of dance and a slew of jokes.

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Dodd was famous for his rapid-fire one-liners and marathon stand-up shows, even into his 80s. In the 1960s he held the Guinness world record for the longest joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three-and-a-half hours.


His signature prop was a tickling stick — a sort of comedy feather duster — and colorfully clad, diminutive companions known as the Diddy Men.


Dodd was knighted last year by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming Sir Ken Dodd.

Dodd poses with an oil on canvas portrait of himself entitled "Ken Dodd. Entertainer" by Wiltshire artist David Cobley in 2005.

Dodd poses with an oil on canvas portrait of himself entitled “Ken Dodd. Entertainer” by Wiltshire artist David Cobley in 2005.

(Fiona Hanson/PA via AP)


Holmes said Dodd “was one of the last music hall greats.”


“With Ken gone, the lights have been turned out in the world of variety,” he said.

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