Billy Dainty

Billy was born in Dudley in 1927 and became known for his dancing skills when he became one of the 'Betty Fox' babes in Birmingham. His family moved to London and Billy started a scholarship at RADA. Whilst at RADA he became a pupil of choreographer Buddy Bradley who also choreographed Fred and Adelle Astaire.

In 1942 Billy appeared in pantomime at the Coliseum Theatre in London. The pantomime was 'Mother Goose', starring Norman Evans and Patricia Burke. Billy was the back half of a donkey. The following year he got a part in the chorus in the George Black revue called 'Strike a New Note' at the Prince of Wales Theatre. It starred Morecambe and Wise.

Billy was called-up in 1945 and toured the Far East in the 'Stars In Battledress' revue, called 'Hello ALFSEA'. His first performance after the war was in a revue called 'Gaytime' at the Cosy Nook Theatre in Newquay. He later moved to the town and purchased a seaside home, which he called 'Gaytime' after the show.

In the 1950s Billy toured in the many variety theatres of the day, but as the industry declined he made a sideways move into TV and made many appearances on 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium'. In about 1962 he made a record called 'If I'd Known You' and 'Cry Upon My Shoulder'. Billy was at Blackpool for the 1970 summer season at the ABC Theatre in the Tommy Steele Show and appeared in several Royal Variety performances.

He began to appear in pantomime as a dame using his eccentric dancing skills and a funny walk. His television career continued and he became a regular on children's TV in 'Emu's Broadcasting Company' with Rod Hull. On the shows Billy played the piano. He was in 'Stars in Your Eyes' at the London Palladium with Russ Conway, Cliff Richard and Edmund Hockridge, and was in 'Sleeping Beauty' with Diane Lee, Jack Douglas and Arthur English at the Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth in 1980. In 1981 he was Widow Twankey in Nottingham. He was back at Nottingham in 1985 in 'Aladdin' but had to leave due to ill health. He died at his home 'Cobblers' in Godalming, Surrey on 19th November, 1986. He was 59 years old.