Kelly Norton Monteith (October 17, 1942 – January 1, 2023) was a multi-talented American entertainer, celebrated for his contributions as a comedian, actor, writer, and producer. His name became synonymous with comedy, particularly through his creation and performance in the renowned BBC comedy show, Kelly Monteith.
Born as Kelly Norton Monteith on October 17, 1942, he entered the world in St. Louis, Missouri.
Kelly Monteith’s career in comedy took off during the early 1970s when he made appearances as a guest comedian on prominent talk shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Late Show with David Letterman.
In 1976, Monteith ventured into the realm of variety shows with The Kelly Monteith Show on CBS, marking his entrance into the television landscape. His journey took a significant turn when, after successful guest spots on British talk shows, the BBC extended an offer for him to helm his own series. In 1979, the world was introduced to Kelly Monteith, a comedy show that would run for a total of six seasons. The show was distinctive for its willingness to break the fourth wall by offering glimpses of Monteith in his dressing room before and after scenes. During its run, Kelly Monteith achieved acclaim, earning the prestigious Silver Rose for the BBC at the Montreux Television Festival in Switzerland. Notably, in the United States, the BBC series was rebroadcast on the budding Arts and Entertainment Network.
In 1983, Monteith’s comedic talents reached a broader audience when he performed at the esteemed Royal Variety Performance, followed by a nationwide tour.
From 2014 to 2020, Monteith co-hosted the engaging show Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul, and Two-Buck Chuck.
In 2015, Monteith, alongside Paul Bland, was honored with the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for Best Television Anchor/Host by the Los Angeles Press Club.
From 2019 to 2020, Monteith teamed up once again with The Anglophile Channel in Kelly Monteith’s BBC Memories, a series that delved into the memorable moments from his groundbreaking show, Kelly Monteith.
Monteith chose Los Angeles, California as his home base, where he continued to make a significant impact in the world of entertainment.
In February 2021, Monteith faced health challenges, suffering two strokes that resulted in aphasia. He underwent a two-month hospitalization at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Tragically, on January 1, 2023, Kelly Monteith passed away at the age of 80, in the comfort of his Los Angeles residence. News of his passing was conveyed on January 2 via a statement on social media by The Anglophile Channel, a production company he had collaborated with in his later years.
He leaves behind a legacy cherished by many and is survived by his two children, born to his partner, Caroline Alexander. Tributes poured in from various quarters, including his Kelly Monteith co-star Lisa Vanderpump, along with numerous fellow comedians such as Bennett Arron, Al Murray, and John Wing Jr., who all paid heartfelt homage to the comedy icon. Kelly Monteith’s enduring contributions to the world of comedy will forever be celebrated and remembered.