1913 – 1976
Top 25 Films
Sid James (born Solomon Joel Cohen; 8 May 1913 – 26 April 1976) (sometimes credited as Sidney James) was a South African-born British character and comic actor.
Appearing in British films from 1947, he was cast in numerous small and supporting roles into the 1960s. His profile was raised as Tony Hancock’s co-star in Hancock’s Half Hour, first in the radio series and later when it was adapted for television and ran from 1956 to 1960. Afterwards, he became known as a regular performer in the Carry On films, appearing in nineteen films of the series, with the top billing role in 17 (in the other two he was cast below Frankie Howerd). Meanwhile, his starring roles in television sitcoms continued for the rest of his life. He starred alongside Diana Coupland in the 1970s sitcom Bless This House until his death in 1976.
Remembered for a lascivious persona in the Carry On films, with the Snopes website describing him as “the grand old man of dirty laughter”, he became known for his amiability in his later television work. Bruce Forsyth described him as “a natural at being natural”.
On 26 April 1976, while touring in The Mating Season, James suffered a heart attack while performing on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre; he died in hospital an hour later. Some, including comedian Les Dawson, claim to have seen the ghost of James at the theatre, and subsequently refused to appear at the theatre again
This weeks choice has been
The Small Back Room 1949 – David Farrar, Kathleen Byron, Jack Hawkins, Sid James
Sid was cast as ‘Knucksie’ a kindly but powerful pub landlord as his first major role.
The Man in Black 1949 – Valentine Dyall, Sid James, Sheila Burrell, Betty Ann Davies, Anthony Forwood
The Lavender Hill Mob 1951 – Alec Guinness, Audrey Hepburn, Stanley Holloway, Sid james, Alfie Bass
This was also one of the first performances by Audrey Hepburn
Quatermass 2 1957 – Brian Donlevy, Sid james, John Longden, Bryan Forbes, Vera Day
The Silent Enemy 1958 – Laurence Harvey, Dawn Addams, Michael Craig, Sid James, John Clements
Sid James rarely appeared in this genre.
Tommy the Toreador 1959 – Tommy Steel, Sid James, Janet Munro, Bernard Cribbins, Kenneth Williams
Carry on Constable 1960 – Kenneth Williams, Sid James,Hatti Jacques, Joan Simms, Charles Hawtey, kenneth Connor, Leslie phillips [1/25]
In the first four Carry on films, Sid James played a straight – man rather than a comic.
So there we go folks, our first part to Sid James Week!
More tomorrow – this weeks choice has been