Actor & Freeman of the City
Dave Lee (1948-2012), born in Broadstairs, has been described as ‘the country’s most famous and respected panto dame’. Over a period of 16 years he performed at over 1,000 pantos at the Marlowe Theatre. He also raised over £2 million towards his charity, Dave Lee’s Happy Holidays, which organised trips for ill and disabled children and their families. To mark his achievements, and the affection with which he will be remembered, family and friends and fellow actors raised £45,000 to fund a bronze statue and bench which stand beside the theatre in which he won fame. Hundreds, including the Lord Mayor, attended his funeral service at Canterbury cathedral in January 2012. Unveiling of the statue took place in May 2014.
The bronze, oddly, lacks the comedian’s name, but the bench is inscribed with a line often used in his pantomime ghost sketch “Well, we’ll have to do it again, won’t we? Whoops!”.
Sources: Canterbury Times 6 May 2014
Update January 2015: good to see that absence of Dave Lee’s name has now been corrected.