Gus McNaughton

Gus McNaughton

Gus McNaughton, born Augustus Howard in Hornsey, North London in 1882, married Charlotte Govett (Poluski) in 1904. Gus took his stepfather George Henley’s stage name (George was part of the minstrel trio Brown, Newland and LeCerq) and performed as Gus LeClerq. He began his career in 1899 as a juvenile comedian with Fred Karno’s pantomime troupe, which included household names like Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. He then joined Fred McNaughton in The Brothers McNaughton taking the surname as his stage name thereafter.

As Gus LeClerq he appeared in the first Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium in 1912. Uninvited, Marie Lloyd performed her own rival show just down the road. The organisers had snubbed her because she supported the 1907 music hall strike.

Gus’ brother, Arty LeClerq, was well known for writing popular comic songs including Don’t Have Any more Mrs Moore. Gus was well respected as a performer among his peers. In 1916 he was Test Rat in the Grand Order of Water Rats and on the executive committee of the Variety Artists Benevolent Fund and Institution. He later became King Rat.

Like many music hall stars Gus embraced film. He starred in over 70 films between 1930 and 1947. He was the fast-talking sidekick in several George Formby film farces of the 1930s and 1940s like Trouble Brewing and Keep Your Seats. He worked with Claude Hulpert in Radio Parade (1933) and appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Murder (1930) and The 39 Steps (1935). One of his best screen performances was as PC Hargreaves in the wartime comedy A Place of One’s Own (1944).

You can check out Gus’ filmography on the Internet Movie Database.

Internet movei database