Who is Lenny Henry?
Sir Lenny Henry (born Lenworth George Henry) CBE is a prominent British actor, comedian, television presenter, singer, and writer. He gained success in the late 1970s and ear;y 1980s as a stand-up comedian and impressionist, culminating in The Lenny Henry Show in 1984. He was the most prominent black British comedian of the time and much of his material served to celebrate and parody his African-Caribbean roots.
In 1985, he co-founded the charity Comic Relief with the comedy screenwriter Richard Curtis. He has made appearances in numerous other TV programs. These include; the children’s entertainment show Tiswas, the sitcom Chef!, and The Magicians for BBC One, and in his later years has transitioned toward acting roles on stage and screen. He appears in the Amazon Prime series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. And is the chancellor of Birmingham City University.
How Old Is Lenny Henry?
He is 64 years old as of April 2023, having been born on August 29, 1958, in Dudley, England. Lenny Henry shares his birthdate with celebrities such as; Michael Jackson (1958-2009), Liam Payne, Lucas Cruikshank, Nathaly Cuevas, and many more.
Lenny Henry Family
Who are Lenny Henry’s Parents?
He was born to Albert Green (Father, 1927-December 28, 2004) and Winifred Louise Henry (Mother, 1922-1998). And Winston Jervis Henrty (Step-Father, 1910-1978).
Does Lenny Henry have Siblings?
He is the fifth of seven children. Thus he has six siblings by the names of Hylton, Berverly, Seymour, Kay, Pual, and Sharon.
Lenny Henry Education
He received his education at St. John’s Primary and later at The Blue Coat School. And Preston College. He then attended The Open University where he obtained a BA Hons degree in English Literature in 2007. And then attended Royal Holloway, University of London where he obtained an MA in Screenwriting for TV and Film in 2010. Subsequently, he studied at the latter institution for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree on the role of black people in the media. In July 2018, he was awarded a Ph.D. in media arts for a thesis titled Does the Coach Have to be Black? The Sports Film, Screenwriting, and Diversity: A Practice-Based Enquiry.
Lenny Henry Girlfriend
He is in a relationship with Lisa Makin, a Broadway casting director. However, he was previously married to Dawn French (born on October 11, 1957) a British actress, comedian, presenter, and writer. They married on October 20, 1984, in Covent Garden, London, and divorced in 2010.
Lenny Henry Kids
He has one kid with his ex-wife Dawn French. An adopted daughter by the name of Billie Henry (born in 1991).
Lenny Henry Career
An Early Career
His formative years in comedy were spent in working men’s clubs where he impersonated mainly white characters, such as the Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em character Frank Spencer. His earliest television appearance was in 1975 aged 16 on the New Faces talent show, which he won with impersonations of Frank Spencer, Stevie Wonder, and others. In 1975, his first manager was Robert Luff who signed him and gave him the opportunity between the ages of 16 and 21. To perform as a comedian as part of the Luff-produced touring stage version of The Black and White Minstrel Show. The following year, he appeared in LWT’s sitcom The Fosters with Norman Beaton, this was Britain’s first comedy series featuring a predominantly black cast. Also, he made guest appearances on television programs including Celebrity Squares, Seaside Special, and The Ronnie Corbett Show.
A Career in the 1980s
In 1980, he performed with Cannon and Ball in Summer Season in Blackpool. Around the same time, from 1978 until 1981, he co-hosted the children’s program Tiswas playing such characters as Rastafarian Algernon Razzmatazz, David Bellamy, and Trevor McDoughnut (a parody of Trevor McDonald). And subsequently performed and wrote for the show Three of a Kind. In 1980 also, he teamed up with the alternative-comedy collective The Comic Strip. He made a guest appearance in the final episode of The Young Ones as The Postman in 1984.
In 1984, the first series of The Lenny Henry Show appeared on the BBC. The show featured stand-up spoofs like his send-up of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. It was in 1985 that he co-founded the British Comic Relief charity organization and in 1988 when the first-ever Red Nose Daw was celebrated. Before the 1987 general election, he lent his support to Red Wedge by participating in a comedy tour organized by the campaign. In 1987, he appeared in a TV film, Coast to Coast. This was a comedic thriller with John Shea about two DJs with a shared passion for Motown music being chased across Britain.
A Career in the 1990s
In the early 1990s, he starred in the Hollywood film True Identity. In 1991, he starred in a BBC drama called Alive and Kicking alongside Robbie Coltrane. There, he played a heroin addict which was based on a true story. In 1991 also, he starred in the Christmas comedy Bernard and the Genie alongside Rowan Atkinson and Alan Cumming. Henry is known as the choleric chef Gareth Blackstock from the 1990s television comedy series Chef!
Or from his 1999 straight-acting lead role in the BBC drama Hope and Glory. With Neil Gaiman, he was co-creator and producer of the 1996 BBC drama serial Neverwhere. He then appeared as a backing singer on Kate Bush’s album The Red Shoes (1993) for the song “Why Should I Love You?” on which Prince played guitar. Also, he performed at Amnesty International’s Big-30 fundraising concert, backed by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. He returned to the BBC to do Lenny Henry in Pieces.
A Career in the 2000s
The Observer listed Henry in 2003 as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy. For two weeks in March 2003, he was the voice of the British speaking clock in aid of Comic Relief. In 2004, he voiced Dre Head, the “shrunken head” on the Knight Bus in the Alfonso Cuaron movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and read the audiobook version of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.
Also, he voiced Spotify on the children’s show Little Robots. For a BBC documentary in June 2000, he sailed a trimaran from Plymouth to Antigua with yachtsman Tony Bullimore. In 2005, he appeared as an act for Jasper Carrott’s Rock with Laughter in Birmingham. The following year, he starred in the BBC program Berry’s Way. On March 16, 2007, he made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch with Catherine Tate, who appeared in the guise of her character Geordie Geroge from the Catherine Tate Show.
That same year on June 16, he appeared with Sally James and Chris Tarrant to present a 25th-anniversary episode of Tiswas. In the summer of 2007, he presented Lenny’s Britain, a comedy documentary tour made with the Open University on BBC One on Tuesday Nights. In late 2007, he hosted a stand-up comedy tour in the UK. His series lennhenry.tv was broadcast on BBC One in early 2008. He then appeared on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny on BBC Two on December 31, 2008, and January 1, 2009.
As he sang part of the song Mercy along with singer Duffy. In January 2009, he appeared on the BBC’s comedy show, Live at The Apollo. That same year in October, he reprised his role of Deakus to feature in comedy shorts about story writing alongside Nina Wadia, Tara Palmer Tomkinson, and Stephen K. Amos. Moreover, he offers his writing tips and amusing anecdotes in the writing tips video clip on BBC raw words – story writing.
A Career in the 2010s
In 2010, he produced and starred in a five-part web series for the BBC Comedy website, Conversations with my Wife. In 2008, he became the face of budget hotel operator Premier Inn. He then presented a Saturday night magic series called The Magicians on BBC One in 2011.
The show returned in 2012 but Henry was replaced by Darren McMullen. In March 2011, he appeared in the BBC fundraising documentary for Comic Relief called Famous, Rich and in the Slums. Angela Rippon, Samantha Womack, and Reggie Yates, where the four celebrities were sent to Kibera in Kenya, the African continent’s largest slum. In 2014, he appeared in and produced a play based on his radio show Rudy’s Rare Records.
The following year, he wrote Danny and the Human Zoo, a 90-minute television film show on BBC One. In 2017, he appeared in a recurring role in the third series of Broadchurch. It was announced in November 2019, that he would guest star in “Spyfall” the two-part opening episode of Doctor Who’s 12th revived series which broadcast on New Year’s Day and January 4, 2020.
A Career in the 2020s
He was announced in December 2020 as a cast member of Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It premiered on September 1, 2022. In 2021, he appeared as a contestant on the second series of The Masked Singer, masked as “The Blob”. He finished in 6th place. The Guardian published Black British culture matters on November 6, 2021. Curated by Henry and Marcus Ryder for its Saturday Culture Issue No7. In 2022, he was cast as the voice of Martin Tenbones in The Sandman.
A Music Career
He was asked by Sky Arts in 2015 to produce a show for them, Lenny Henry’s Got The Blues. He worked with a group of musicians includingJakko Jakszyk, lead singer of King Crimson to produce the album New Millenium Blues. Later he released a “hard-hitting animated blues video” directed by Iranian filmmaker, Sam Chegini titled The Cops Don’t Know which premiered on April 20, 2016, by Classic Rock magazine.
A Writing Career
He has published four books, two autobiographies, and two young adult fantasies. Who Am I, Again? (2019) a memoir that covered his formative years, starting with the arrival of his parents in Dudley, and ending when he began to experience success in the late 1970s. Rising to the Surface continues his memoirs from the point his first ended. Rising… covers his rise to fame.
Lenny Henry Height and Measurements
Adding up to his well-built body is a height of 6ft 3 inches (1.91m) and has an unknown weight.
Lenny Henry’s Salary and Net Worth
His salary is not mentioned on the internet and has a net worth of $9 million.