Star Archive

Will Fyffe (1885 - 1947)

Will Fyffe had a long and successful career in the music hall before finding cinema stardom as the archetypal old Scot.

Fyffe was born in Dundee. Shortly after his birth his father started a touring theatre group, travelling the country with a portable theatre. Fyffe was soon enlisted into the company, beginning with child roles, but developed his character acting skills giving his Polonius in Hamlet when he was just fifteen.

He left his father's company to toured with others. He was for a while in William Haggar's company in South Wales. Haggar had been successful in early cinema and his company still made films, one of which featured Fyffe in his first screen role.

Fyffe moved into music hall with a series of self-penned sketches which he'd tried unsuccessfully to sell to Harry Lauder and Neil Kenyon. The sketches proved a hit, but it was another Harry Lauder reject, the song "I belong to Glasgow", which really moved Fyffe into the big time. By 1922 he was appearing at the Royal Variety Performance for the first (of five) times.

When talkies came along, he was in demand. As a bone fide theatre and recording star he slotted into the quality quota production nicely. While few of his films were better than adequate, they did showcase his ability to play character roles and proved popular with audiences. He was even enough of a name abroad for some of his films to have a go at the US market.

Hollywood came calling and he was in the US during the approach of WWII. He declined offers to stay and returned to Britain to entertain the troops, and star in a fondly-remembered series of pantos in Glasgow.

He died while recuperating from an ear operation, falling out of the window of a St Andrews hotel which he owned.

There's more than a touch of the ham about Fyffe's act but he's always the star - never upstaged no matter what it takes.

Will Fyffe in Owd BobWill Fyffe in Owd BobWill Fyffe in Owd Bob


1914 The Maid of Cefn Ydfa
1930 Elstree Calling
1933 Happy
1935 Rolling Home
1936 Well Done, Henry
1936 King of Hearts
1936 Debt of Honour
1936 Annie Laurie
1936 Love in Exile
1936 Men of Yesterday
1937 Spring Handicap
1937 Cotton Queen
1937 Said O'Reilly to McNab
1938 Owd Bob
1939 The Mind of Mr. Reeder
1939 Rulers of the Sea (US)
1940 The Missing People
1940 They Came By Night
1940 For Freedom
1940 Neutral Port
1941 The Prime Minister
1944 Heaven is Round the Corner
1945 Give Me the Stars
1947 The Brothers

  Will Fyffe at Amazon UK

 Will Fyffe at Amazon US