In the world of British Comedy, there are many legends who have made an impact on the industry. Bob Grant’s real name is Robert St Clair Grant. He stands out amongst these legends. He was born in West London on April 14,1932. His career began in the 1950s, and it spanned many platforms.

Climbing Success Ladder

Bob’s life in his early years was shaped by experiences that may have paved the way for his iconic role. In his early days, while he was studying at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Bob worked in various occupations, including as a frozen-food salesman, and, more interestingly, as a bus driver.

The screen world called, however, and the sitcom “On The Buses” was what catapulted his fame to a national level. Bob Grant played the charming bus conductor Jack Harper with great aplomb from 1969 to 1973. Bob Grant’s association with the series was not limited to acting. He wrote 11 episodes, including a special, with co-star Stephen Lewis.

The comedy series became a household favourite and was immortalized by three films – on the buses (1971) mutiny on busses (1972) and holiday on the buses (1973).

Exploring other avenues beyond the bus

Bob’s talents weren’t limited to Jack Harper. He faced challenges with typecasting after the success of “On The Buses,” but his versatility led him to venture into radio and theater. His theatrical journeys include a tour of Australia with We’re British. His presence was also felt in musicals and pantomimes.

Bob’s performance as the title character in John Arden’s BBC adaptation of Don Quixote was widely acclaimed. The partnership between Bob and Bernard Cribbins who played Sancho panza was notable. He also received praise for his performance in The Red Telephone Box – a Ken Whitmore comedy drama – and demonstrated his versatility with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Bob’s Personal Tapestry

Bob’s life outside of work was just as interesting. Over his lifetime, he exchanged vows three times. Jean Hyett, his first wife in 1954, was the one he married. After their separation he married Christine Sally Kemp. Kim Benwell, his third wife, was married in 1971 at the height of ‘On The Buses. Fans thronged the streets to witness this wedding. A double-decker was provided for wedding guests to celebrate Bob’s legendary role. This was done as a tribute to his legacy of comedy. The union between Bob and Kim lasted until 2003, when he tragically left.

How did Bob Grant die?

Bob struggled with his own demons, despite the laughter that he spread. Bob battled depression. It was a dark shadow over his life. Bob’s internal battle culminated with a heartbreaking finale in 2003, when he took his own life at age 71. This marked the closing of a chapter for British comedy. It is a void which has been difficult to fill.

Bob Grant’s journey is filled with both monumental professional highs as well as profound personal lows. It is a testament to human existence in all its facets. His life will be remembered forever for his iconic roles and infectious humor, but it also highlights the importance of understanding mental health. Bob’s life reminds us of the many joys and sadnesses that make up the tapestry of our existence.


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