(b. London, 14 Oct. 1896; d. Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, 28 Oct. 1968) Comedian and song writer. Known as a boy as ‘Robert Winthrop’. During his long partnership with Chesney Allen, Flanagan appeared in variety entertainments, most notably as part of the Crazy Gang, revues and films, toured abroad, and, during the 1930s and 1940s, created many popular songs, among them ‘Underneath the Arches’, ‘The Umbrella Man’, ‘Dreaming’, ‘Music, Maestro, Please’, ‘Run, Rabbit, Run’ and ‘On the Outside Looking In’. After Allen's retirement due to illness, Flanagan appeared alone in such popular reviews as Together Again (1947) and Knights of Madness (1950). In the celebration show, Underneath the Arches (1981), he was played by music hall expert, the comedian Ross Hudd. Flanagan's autobiography My Crazy Life appeared in 1961.
From The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre in Oxford Reference.