LONDON (AP) _ Radio and television comedian Jimmy Edwards, who kept Britons laughing in the dark days of food rationing and other austerity measures after World War II, has died at the age of 68, his brother reported Friday night.

The comedian, whose huge mustache, burly frame and gravely voice became his trademarks, was one of the nation's best-loved laugh-makers.

He died Thursday of bronchial pneumonia in London's Cromwell Hospital after an illness of several weeks following his return from a show business tour in Australia, his brother, Alan Edwards, said.

After the war, Edward's starring role in the British Broadcasting Corp.'s radio series ''Take It From Here'' ran for 11 years.

He appeared in several plays in London's West End theaterland and won wide acclaim for his performance in the 1956 movie version of Jerome K. Jerome's classic comic novel ''Three Men in a Boat,'' about a trip up the River Thames in a rowboat in the 1880s.

During the war, Edwards flew with the Royal Air Force and won the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery.

In 1962, his attempt to become a Conservative member of Parliament narrowly failed.

In 1959, he married actress Valerie Seymour but they were divorced 11 years later.