Lionel Blair has been one of the most popular celebrities in England for over fifty years. He was born in Canada, but his family moved to north London, England when he was a baby. Lionel Blair is the son of Myer Ogus and Deborah Greenbaum who were Jewish. His father was a barber who decided to change the family name to Blair. His father died when he was 13. He had a strangulated hernia and a duodenal ulcer. His father went into an operating theatre and came out dead. After his passing the family had no money so Lionel Blair had to work. He and his sister Joyce earned money by performed in musicals. Unfortunately as they were becoming famous on television their mother died. They were orphans at that point. Soon after Joyce met her first husband, Eddie, so Blair was completely on his own.
He became interested in acting, and was lucky to be accepted at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in 1944. He continued his education at London’s University of East London where he majored in Ethnography. Blair has been married to Susan Blair since 1967. They have three children. Their youngest son is 30 years old and still lives at home.
Blair was inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance films when he was a teenager and he decided to become a dancer. His illustrious career included a spectacular dance-off against Sammy Davis Junior at the Royal Variety Command Performance in 1961. He also appeared in the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. Blair choreographed the film The Magic Christian in 1969 and The Mike and Bernie Show in 1973. He moved away from dancing when he accepted an offer to be a judge on a show called New Faces in 1976.
In 2005, he was one of the celebrities who participated in the Channel Five reality series The Farm. Blair appeared as himself in the 2007 Christmas special of the Ricky Gervais show Extras. In July 2010 Blair appeared with his dog on the show Great British Dog Walks on ITV1′s This Morning. He performed in a fantastic one-man show at London’s Hippodrome Casino in March 2013.
Lionel Blair is currently appearing in Celebrity Big Brother 2014