Spike Milligan(1918-2002), Comedian and writer
Terence Allan ('Spike') Milligan
Sitter in 21 portraits
A unique comedy genius, Milligan made his radio debut in 1949 on Opportunity Knocks before coming to prominence as one of The Goons in the 1950s. He went on to reveal his bizarre, surreal sense of humour in television programmes including The World of Beachcomber (1968-9) and the Q series (1969-82). Milligan's publications included comic writing, verse, children's stories and several volumes of autobiography including Depression and How to Survive It (1993), a guide drawing from his own experience. In 1994 he was presented with a British Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
Watch Paul Merton talking about Spike Milligan in the Media section below
by Walter Hanlon
bromide fibre print, 1952
by Art-Wood Photography
gelatin silver print, 1955
by Richard Sadler
bromide fibre print, late 1950s
by Bryan Wharton
bromide print, 6 May 1968
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.