Henry McGee

For the American businessman and academic, see Henry W. McGee.

Henry McGee
Henry McGee.jpg
Henry James Marris-McGee

(1929-05-14)14 May 1929
Died28 January 2006(2006-01-28) (aged 76)
Twickenham, London, England
Resting placeBrompton Cemetery, London
EducationStonyhurst College
Years active1950-2003
Known forBenny Hill's straight man
Brompton Cemetery monument

Henry James Marris-McGee[1] (14 May 1929 – 28 January 2006) was a British actor, best known as straight man to Benny Hill for many years. McGee was also often the announcer on Hill's TV programme, delivering the upbeat intro "Yes! It's The Benny Hill Show!". He was familiar to British children throughout the 1970s as "Mummy" in the Sugar Puffs commercials, the catchphrase of which was "Tell them about the honey, Mummy".


McGee was born in South Kensington, London, and educated at Stonyhurst College, McGee hoped to become a doctor, but the death of his father when he was 17 put financial strains on the family that ended his plans.[2] Having enjoyed acting as a boy, McGee decided to follow his mother's side of the family, which could trace its involvement in acting back to Kitty Clive.[3] He went on to play supporting roles in films and television series and dramas, including The Italian Job (1969), The Saint and The Avengers, but it is for comedy roles that he is best remembered, primarily and most famously for his straight man interviewer in The Benny Hill Show.[4][5] He was also remembered by some as the 'mummy' of Honey Monster, a large, yellow, furry creature in advertisements for the breakfast cereal Sugar Puffs.[6]

McGee played Two-Ton Ted in the video of "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)".[2] Other comedy roles included the holiday centre manager in the 1973 film Holiday on the Buses, officious policemen in Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976) and Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), the TV presenter Harold Hump in Carry On Emmannuelle (1978), opposite Charlie Drake in the ATV/ITV situation comedy The Worker (1965–1978), and There Was An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman, a BBC Scotland comedy series written by Lew Schwarz.[7] McGee was the Englishman, with Harry Towb as the Irishman and Roy Kinnear as the Scot. The show ran for one series in 1972. He also appeared in an episode of Rising Damp as a conman, Seymour.[8] In 2003, he appeared in the episode "The Miraculous Curing of Old Goff Helliwell" in Last of the Summer Wine.[9] He had a long and successful theatre career, during which he tackled a wide range of roles, receiving plaudits for deadpan delivery in farces such as Plunder.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

McGee had one daughter, Stephanie (born November 1963). He spent his last six months in a nursing home, suffering from Alzheimer's disease.[10] He is buried at Brompton Cemetery, London.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1950 Seven Days to Noon Soldier Marching Next to Jackson Uncredited
1956 Sailor Beware! Milkman Uncredited
1965 Fanatic Rector Uncredited
1969 The Italian Job Tailor Uncredited
1973 Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World TV Announcer
1973 Holiday on the Buses Holiday Camp Manager
1974 The Cherry Picker Pilkington
1974 The Best of Benny Hill Himself / Rodney Fairchild / Customs Agent / Various
1976 Adventures of a Taxi Driver Inspector Rogers
1977 Come Play with Me Deputy Prime Minister
1978 Revenge of the Pink Panther Officer Bardot
1978 Carry On Emmannuelle Harold Hump
1994 Asterix Conquers America Caesar English version, Voice

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Henry MARRIS-MCGEE - Deceased Estates - The Gazette". Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Henry McGee". The Independent. 2 February 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Associated Press (1 February 2006). "Obituary: Henry McGee". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Henry McGee". www.aveleyman.com.
  5. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Benny Hill Show, The (1969-89)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  6. ^ "I've left you my money, honey". Evening Standard. 13 January 2007.
  7. ^ "Henry McGee". BFI.
  8. ^ "Rising Damp - S2 - Episode 5: The Perfect Gentleman". Radio Times.
  9. ^ "Last of the Summer Wine - S24 - Episode 6: The Miraculous Curing of Old Goff Helliwell". Radio Times.
  10. ^ Barker, Dennis (3 February 2006). "Obituary: Henry McGee" – via www.theguardian.com.