Home > Categories > Society, Culture, & Scholarship > Broadcasters > Sir Bruce Forsyth's Biography

Sir Bruce Forsyth's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z

Who was Sir Bruce Forsyth?

Sir Bruce Forsyth was involved in light entertainment for over sixty years.

Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson (to give 'Brucie' his full name) was born on 22 February 1928 in Edmonton, London.

Bruce had been evacuated at the start of World War II but returned to London after just three days as he was so homesick. He started his stage career as 'Boy Bruce - The Mighty Atom' - as far back as 1942.

Bruce Forsyth's first television performance was Music Hall in 1954.

Forsyth's television highlights over the years included Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out, and Bruce's Price is Right. 

His most notable role, however, was as host of The Generation Game which he started in 1971 and completed seven series - with his catchphrases "nice to see you, to see you nice" and "didn't he do well?".

Bruce Forsyth had two stints on The Generation Game - one in the seventies and one in the nineties.

In 2007 it was announced that UKTV Gold were to transmit a new show The Generation Game: Then Again, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, which would combine archive footage from the Generation Game with new challenges.

Penny Forsyth, an ex-wife of Bruce Forsyth, told the BBC about how she was immediately attracted to him:

"I saw this name, Bruce Forsyth, and suddenly there were green flashing lights in front of my eyes and I knew this was the man I was going to marry."

Penny and Bruce became a singing and dancing double act, before Penny fell pregnant with the first of their three daughters.

One side-effect of the Generation Game was one of Bruce's marriages - to Anthea Redfern - although their marriage dissolved in 1982. After their divorce, Bruce married former Miss World, Wilnelia Merced.

Bruce Forsyth reprised his role as host of The Generation Game from 1990 to 1995.

His popularity in Strictly Come Dancing led to Bruce Forsyth winning his first National TV Awards nomination in 2004.

Bruce Forsyth was awarded the OBE in 1998 and the CBE in 2006.

In 2008, Bruce Forsyth received Bafta's highest accolade, the Academy Fellowship.

In 2010 the BBC announced that Bruce Forsyth would not host Strictly Come Dancing's Sunday results show, which would be hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman instead.

In January 2011 Bruce Forsyth was presented with a special recognition award at the National Television Awards.

In 2011, Bruce Forsyth was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

In 2014, it was announced that after 11 series of Strictly Come Dancing, Sir Bruce Forsyth was stepping down as a presenter of the show, however he would continue to present the Strictly Christmas Special, and the Strictly Children in Need Special.

In October 2015, Sir Bruce had a fall and tests revealed that he had two aneurysms.

His treatment for these was successful but his recovery was slow and in 2016, his wife Wilnelia revealed that Sir Bruce had problems moving and got tired.

At the end of February 2017, Sir Bruce Forsyth entered intensive care after developing a severe chest infection.

Sir Bruce Forsyth died on 18 August 2017, aged 89.

The day after he passed away the BBC published an article Sir Bruce Forsyth: 8 little-known facts about his career.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: