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Caine, Marti (1945-1995)

Actor, Singer, Comedian, Presenter

Main image of Caine, Marti (1945-1995)

Born in Sheffield in 1945, Marti Caine's made her first forays into showbiz (under various names) as a singer, but a natural sense of humour pushed her more towards comedy. Her big break came when she won the grand final of TV talent show New Faces (ITV) in 1975 and such was her popularity that the following year she was given her own show Nobody Does It Like Marti (ITV, 1976) performing sketches and comedy songs. She followed this with Marti (ITV, 1977) the following year but found a more permanent home at the BBC with The Marti Caine Show (1977-84) and later starred in her own sitcom Hilary (BBC, 1984). She returned to ITV for one-off Marti Caine (1989) before bouncing back to the BBC for Joker in the Pack (1992) a 'people' show in which she toured the country encouraging 'real people' top tell their favourite jokes.

Her many appearances headlining different shows made her the most successful female comedy star so far on British TV despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that her style changed throughout her career; her early comedy persona being that of a gawky housewife before she settled down as a competent stand-up star, delivering comedy monologues and jokes in quite a masculine style offset by her glamorous outfits. Later she emerged as a popular personality, good with people à la Cilla Black. She fought a well-publicized battle against cancer but finally succumbed to the disease in 1995 at the young age of 50.

Autobiography: A Coward's Chronicle (Century Books, 1990)

Dick Fiddy

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