Well known Maltese comedian Charles Clews died Thursday morning aged 89.
Clews had been one of the very first contributors to the local Maltese Rediffusion and had a successful career on stage and radio.
He had started acting in Senglea and established himself with concerts for the workers at the dockyards during the constant bombardment of the Second World War, with air-raids frequently cutting short their shows.
He was the backbone of popular Stage Commandos, the stage company that came out with a new style of comedy in 1945 performing in all the principal theatres of the two islands. Their repertoire included sketches, plays and musicals. The Stage Commandos had won the “Bajda u Ħamra” award in the one act play competition at the Radio City Theatre in 1947.
Charles was the driving force of the Radju Muskettieri (The Radio Musketeers). Although he worked closely with a number of other well known personalities, his closest partner was Johnny Catania. Some other well known actors in his team included Gemma Portelli, Vitorin Galea, Johnny Navarro, Terry L. Bencini, Josette Ciappara, Nosì Ghirlando and Guża Caruana.
His greatest success was the comical soap opera “Karmena Abdilla” which had a run of some two years culminating in a wedding on the Radio City Theatre stage.
For three years (1955 to 58) he was appointed as Chairman of the Stage and Film Censors Board. Since 1959 he wrote a weekly humorous column in the Maltese newspaper It-Torċa and the Antenna Magazine. Some of his works include: Ali Babì, Hotel Żewwiġni and Don Rodrigo (all three being musical comedies); l-Imgermda (an adaptation of Cinderella), many sketches, one act comedies and plays
In December 1996 Charles was awarded the Medal for Services to the Republic and two years later the Trophy for a lifetime entertainment to the nation.
Clews was married to Anne in 1943 and had eight children; Hilary (deceased), Miriam, Jane, Irene, Norman, Kenneth, Alan and Kevin.
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