Bernard Delfont (1909-1994)

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Bernard Delfont, Baron Delfont (5 September 1909 – 28 July 1994), born Boris (or Boruch) Winogradsky, was a leading Russian-born British theatrical impresario.He was born in Tokmak, Russian Empire, the second son of Isaac and Olga Winogradsky. His brothers Lew Grade and Leslie Grade also entered showbusiness. His nephew Michael Grade (now Lord Grade of Yarmouth), Leslie's son, has had a career in the television and film industries.Delfont entered theatrical management in 1941, after a career as first a dancer, then an agent. He presented over 200 shows in London and New York, including more than 50 musicals, such as the original productions of Little Me, Stop the World - I Want to Get Off, City Of Angels and Sweet Charity. He also presented summer variety shows in many towns across the country, mainly seaside resorts. As Chief Executive of EMI, Delfont withdrew funding for the film Life of Brian in 1978 at the last moment, due to worries over the religious implications.He converted the London Hippodrome into the Talk of the Town nightclub, bringing in entertainers such as Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Eartha Kitt and Judy Garland, and also securing the exclusive rights from Paul Derval to stage the Folies Bergère for the first time outside Paris.He married the actress Carole Lynne in 1946. They had one son (David) and two daughters (Susannah and Jennifer). He was knighted in 1974 and created a life peer as Baron Delfont, of Stepney in Greater London in 1976. He died from a heart attack at his Angmering home. Lord Delfont was the life president of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, while his wife served as life governor.His widow Carole Lynne (Lady Delfont), 89, died as a result of motor neurone disease on 17 January 2008 at her home in Sussex, England.

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