Sid James

 

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It was the`Carry On' films that gradually eclipsed everything in this wildly prolific career. This characters, always on the outlook for a sexual or financial step up, or both, he was perhaps the keystone which held the series together. Mostly playing characters called Sid(ney), memorably as Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond in Carry On Up the Khyber (1968), he had his finest hour as Mark Antony in Carry On Cleo (1964) and as Johnny Finger, the Rumpo Kid in Carry On Cowboy (1965). For his last ten years, he was as much institution as actor. The Carry on films became an culture in Britain, the bawdy romps and shameless PC (less) jokes were hugely popular and very British.

With Bless this House (ITV, 1971-76) James secured his position as a television sitcom actor of national acclaim. It also signaled a change in emphasis from his early film and the 'Carry On' type romps to one that suited his maturing years. He played Sid Abbott, a long suffering father/husband, to his wife, Jean (Diana Coupland) and their two children Mike and Kate. The key to his success was his ability to deliver lines for comic effect and react to those around him. His heavily lined face testified to a lot of laughter.

He survived a heart attack in 1967 to offer audiences another nine years before a second heart attack killed him at the age of 62. Sid died suddenly in 1976 on stage in a comedy called ‘The Mating Game’ after the pre-recorded Bless this House series having just completed its run. 

Biographies:
'A biography, Sid James' (1995)

Suggested films to see:

A Carry on movie....





 

 

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