Tony Hancock was born in Hall Green, Birmingham in May 1924.
He joined the RAF in 1942 and following a failed audition for ENSA, ended up in The Ralph Reader Gang Show.
After the war, he appeared in Workers' Playtime, Variety Bandbox and in 1951, gained a regular role in Educating Archie.
His breakthrough came in 1954, when he was partnered with comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson for Hancock's Half Hour.
The ground-breaking sitcom transferred to BBC television, but already the comic was showing his lachrymose tendencies, fretting about his career and ordering the dismissal of his regular co-stars come the final series, renamed Hancock.
Then parting with Galton and Simpson, he continued chasing fame, but never found success again.
In 1968, suffering from alcoholism and a failed second marriage, he took his own life. "Things just went wrong too many times," said his suicide note.
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