Spike Milligan

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE (16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002) was a British-Irish actor, comedian, writer, musician, poet, and playwright. The son of an Irish father and an English mother, Milligan was born in British Colonial India, where he spent his childhood, relocating in 1931 to live and work the majority of his life in the United Kingdom. Disliking his first name, he began to call himself "Spike" after hearing the band Spike Jones and his City Slickers on Radio Luxembourg.[1][2][3]

Spike Milligan

Milligan at Rye, Sussex, c.1990
Terence Alan Milligan

(1918-04-16)16 April 1918
Died27 February 2002(2002-02-27) (aged 83)
Resting placeSt Thomas's Church Winchelsea, East Sussex, England
CitizenshipBritish (1918–1962)
Irish (1962–2002)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
  • musician
  • poet
  • playwright
Years active1951–2002
  • June Marlow
    (m. 1952; div. 1960)
  • Patricia Ridgeway
    (m. 1962; died 1978)
  • Shelagh Sinclair
    (m. 1983)

Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of the British radio comedy programme The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the characters Eccles and Minnie Bannister. He was the earliest-born and last surviving member of the Goons. Milligan parlayed success with The Goon Show into television with Q5, a surreal sketch show credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Milligan wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon (1963) and a seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1971). He also wrote comical verse, with much of his poetry written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids (1959).

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