British choreographer and television presenter Lionel Blair, who learned to dance by watching Fred Astaire movies and was a television and stage actor for decades in Great Britain, passed away last Thursday at the age of 92. The cause of death was not disclosed by his agent, who reported the news.
Who was Lionel Blair?
Blair, whose real name was Lionel Henry Ogus, was born in Montreal to Russian Jewish parents. The family moved to Britain when Lionel was a young child and settled in London, where he and his sister Joyce they performed for people who took refuge in subway stations during the bombings of World War II.
He began his career as a teenage actor, but soon turned to dance and assumed the stage name Lionel Blair.
“I really wanted to be an actor,” he said in 2014. “I was the breadwinner after my father died When we were quite young and I got into a musical, I became known and stayed in musicals. But I really want to be in (the soap opera) ‘EastEnders.’
The talent of Lionel Blair
Lionel Blair became friends with Sammy Davis Jr. after the two danced in a royal variety show in 1961 at the Prince of Wales Theater in London.
Work as dancer, served as choreographer for television shows and, in the 60s, 70s and 80s, he was an increasingly prominent presence on variety shows and games. It was panelist on the game show “Give Us a Clue” and presenter from the British version of “Name That Tune”.
He also appeared in several films, including as a choreographer in the Beatles’ adventure “A Hard Day’s Night” (“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Paul, John, George and Ringo!”) In 1964, and in the 1986 musical ” Absolute Beginners “(” Beginners “).
Lionel Blair was an annual star of the popular seasonal theater shows known as Christmas Pantomimes and also appeared on the reality shows “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2014 and “The Real Marigold Hotel” in 2017.
Lionel Blair’s friends say goodbye
Co-workers remembered Blair as a presence cheerful and irrepressible both on stage and off stage.
So Upset to hear about the passing of Lionel Blair. An Amazing Lovely man. Talented Fun and a Joy to work with and know as a fabulous friend. Loved him Rest In Peace. Sending love and condolences to Sue and Family xxx #LionelBlair #Legend pic.twitter.com/53VZeyF1AO
— Vicki Michelle MBE (@vickimichelle)
November 4, 2021
He is survived by his wife Susan, three children and three grandchildren.