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Alfred Hawthorne "Benny" Hill (21 January 1924 – 19 April 1992) was an English comedian, actor and singer, notable for his long-running television programme The Benny Hill Show. Hill appeared in many different costumes and portrayed a vast array of characters. Slapstick, burlesque, and double entendre were his hallmark. Some critics accused the show of sexism, but Hill claimed that female characters kept their dignity while the men chasing them were portrayed as buffoons. Hill often made fun of himself, which endeared him to many. Hill often used sped-up film — also known as 'Undercranking' — and sight gags to create what he called 'live animation' and he employed techniques like mime and parody. The show typically closed with a sped-up chase scene involving himself and a crew of scantily-clad women, a takeoff on the stereotypical Keystone Cops chase scenes. These segments are among the most popular of Hill's work. This was commonly filmed using stop motion and time-lapse techniques for comic effect. The tune used in all the chases, "Yakety Sax", is commonly referred to as "The Benny Hill Theme". It has been used as a form of parody in many ways by television shows and a small number of films. Some video games also use this type of running gag. The Wachowskis used the same style (and musical theme) in a scene in the film V for Vendetta (2006). It also appears in the cult movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. Hill's health began to decline in the mid 1980s. He suffered heart problems, and on 11 February, 1992, doctors told him he needed to lose weight and recommended a heart bypass. He declined and was diagnosed a week later with renal failure. Benny Hill died on or about 19 April, 1992, Easter weekend, alone in his flat at 7 Fairwater House, Twickenham Road, Teddington, South West London, at the age of 68. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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