Charlie Chester(1914-1997), Comedian and singer
Cecil Victor ('Charlie') Chester
Sitter associated with 11 portraits
'Cheerful Charlie' Chester was born Cecil Victor Manser, the son an Eastbourne cinema sign-painter and and a mother who sang. Starting at age 7 he won over 82 talent competitions before turning professional whilst still a teenager. His sixty year career was spent primarily as a radio star ranging from his war time success in Stand Easy followed by shows such as Keep Smiling, Come to Charlie (a sitcom) and A Proper Charlie making him a major 1950s top radio and variety name. In 1969 started his long-running radio programme Sunday Soapbox reflected his concern for less fortunate members of society.
- Dorita Chester (née Langley) (wife)
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.