Sid James
British actor
Sid James
Sid James was an English-based South African actor and comedian. He made his name as Tony Hancock's co-star in Hancock's Half Hour and also starred in the popular Carry On films. He was known for his trademark "dirty laugh" and lascivious persona. Bruce Forsyth described him as "a natural at being natural."
Biography
Sid James's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Sid James
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Sid James
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Sid James from around the web
ED2011 Comedy Review: Everything But An Astronaut (Carrot Napper Productions) - ThreeWeeks News
Google News - over 5 years
It features dozens of toe-curling innuendos that would make Sid James and Kenneth Williams groan with embarrassment, lowest-common-denominator pop-culture references more tired than a marathon-running narcoleptic,and grossly offensive swearwords that
Article Link:
Google News article
Carry on up north! A raucous mix of social realism and slap and tickle sets ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Even though Bianca has nothing racier than a fish pie to put before Dan, it's difficult to shift images of Sid James and Barbara Windsor from your head. 'There are definitely some Carry On-style moments in Mount Pleasant – but a lot more besides,' says
Article Link:
Google News article
Cowboys and their bizarre enemies - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
The extra-terrestrial enemies in Cowboys And Aliens are following in the path of western baddies Dracula and Sid James. A battle scene from Cowboys And Aliens Photo: AP A battle scene from Cowboys And Aliens Photo: AP Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and
Article Link:
Google News article
That's Very Nearly An Armful: Red House Museum pays tribute to Tony Hancock - Culture24
Google News - over 5 years
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, John LeMesurier, Hattie Jacques, Richard Wattis and Bill Kerr all appeared with him on radio and TV. It is this popular legacy that Red House Museum is celebrating with this pictorial exhibition that mixes film clips and
Article Link:
Google News article
London exhibition in focus: Entertaining the Nation, the Jewish Museum - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
And from the world of film, none other than Sid James! Yes, another Jew you never knew. And there are many more to unveil in the exhibition. Also on show is a striking portrait of the late, great Amy Winehouse, who tragically died on July 23
Article Link:
Google News article
The Salt Of Life - Little White Lies
Google News - over 5 years
If this provokes images of a leering Sid James carrying on, then that couldn't be further from the reality. Di Gregorio unfurls his (admittedly feather-light) material with a satisfying, semi-improvised feel for the bittersweet comedy in everyday
Article Link:
Google News article
The Lavender Hill Mob: 60th Anniversary Edition [UK Release] Blu-ray Review - Blu-rayDefinition.com
Google News - over 5 years
Soon, the two are planting a story that gains the help of two professional crooks, Lackery (Sid James) and Shorty (Alfie Bass). The four then begin to implement what is meant to be a foolproof plan, but things take a wild turn when some of their golden
Article Link:
Google News article
The gentle, trusting Britain that lives for ever in an Ealing comedy - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Sid James and Alfie Bass, the professional villains recruited as accomplices, are quite happy to let Guinness and Stanley Holloway take the stolen gold for sale in France, waiting behind in London for their own share of the proceeds (one of Bass's
Article Link:
Google News article
Toby Carvery, Walsall - expressandstar.com
Google News - over 5 years
A similar thing could be said of Sid James, whose picture hangs alongside Hancock's at the Walsall Toby Carvery. Fair enough, Sid did not invent the modern sitcom in the way the curmudgeonly Brummie did, but you have to say, he is surely King of the
Article Link:
Google News article
Castle ruins may yet pay off for Sheffield - The Star
Google News - over 5 years
The original was built by William de Lovetot - a name that suggests Sid James in tights and a long feather in his cap. Sheffield could have ended up like Windsor or Edinburgh - if the 17th Century totalitarian Parliamentary vandals hadn't razed it to
Article Link:
Google News article
Numbers game - BBC News
Google News - over 5 years
Considering the British Empire at its peak included a quarter of the world's population, one would imagine the army was more like Michael Caine and Stanley Baker (from the former) than Kenneth Williams and Sid James (from the latter)
Article Link:
Google News article
The Lavender Hill Mob, review - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Helped by a peerless script and a great team of actors (Alfie Bass and Sid James as professional thieves; Stanley Holloway as an oratory-inclined artist-scamster), the film is both a joyous comedy and a tense thriller. Indeed, its climactic car-chase
Article Link:
Google News article
Prison governor facing jail for 'Carry On' sex trysts with female inmate - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Prosecutors in the case likened the steamy romps to something which could have appeared in one of the legendary Carry On films between Sid James and Barbara Windsor. Guildford Crown Court heard that another inmate would often stand guard while the pair
Article Link:
Google News article
Win one of five copies of the classic Tony Hancock Collection on DVD - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
... one of the most consistently funny British sitcoms, with Hancock setting the archetype for the lugubrious, misunderstood, self-proclaimed genius trapped by circumstance, also starring Carry On legends Hattie Jacques, Sid James and Kenneth Williams
Article Link:
Google News article
NHS trust issues nurse jub flash alert - Register
Google News - over 5 years
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has decided that its patients do not subscribe to the Sid James school of healthcare and has ordered Babs Windsors to keep their nursely chesticles firmly under wraps
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Sid James
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1976
    Age 62
    On 26 April 1976, while on a revival tour of The Mating Season, a 1969 farce by the Irish playwright Sam Cree, James suffered a heart attack on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details Actress Olga Lowe thought that he was playing a practical joke at first when he failed to reply to her dialogue. When he failed to reply to her ad libs she moved towards the wings to seek help. The technical manager (Melvyn James) called for the curtain to close and requested a doctor, while the audience (unaware of what was happening) laughed, believing the events to be part of the show. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, but died about an hour later; he was 62. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered at Golders Green Crematorium. James has been the subject of at least five tribute shows: a 1996 one-off tribute, The Very Best of Sid James; as the focus of a 2000 episode of the series The Unforgettable; a 2002 episode of Heroes of Comedy; Channel Four's With Out Walls, Seriously Seeking Sid in the late 1980s; and in 2013, the BBC's The Many Faces Of Sid James.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1972
    Age 58
    Meanwhile, his success in TV situation comedy continued with the series Two in Clover (1969–70), and Bless This House (1971-76) as Sid Abbott, a successful enough series in its day to spawn its own film version in 1972.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1971
    Age 57
    He starred alongside Diana Coupland in the 1970s sitcom Bless This House which aired from 1971 until James died in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details Remembered for a lascivious persona, 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."
  • 1967
    Age 53
    On 13 May 1967, two weeks after the filming began of what eventually became an entry in the Carry On series, James suffered a severe heart attack.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year in Carry On Doctor James was shown mainly lying in a hospital bed, owing to his real-life health problems. After his heart attack James gave up his heavy cigarette habit and instead smoked a pipe with an occasional cigar; he lost weight, ate only one main meal a day, and limited himself to two or three alcoholic drinks per evening.
    In 1967, James was intending to play Sergeant Nocker in Follow That Camel, but was already committed to recording the TV series George and the Dragon (1966–68) for ATV, then one of the ITV contractors.
    More Details Hide Details James was replaced in Follow That Camel by the American comic actor Phil Silvers.
  • FORTIES
  • 1960
    Age 46
    Feeling the format had become exhausted, Hancock decided to end his professional relationship with James at the end of the sixth television series in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details Although the two men remained friends, James was upset at his colleague's decision. Galton and Simpson continued to write for both men for a while, and the Sidney Balmoral James character resurfaced in the Citizen James (1960–62) series. Sid James was now consistently taking the lead role in his television work. Taxi! (1963–64) was his next series. A comedy-drama rather than a sitcom, it was created by Ted Willis, but although running to two series, the programme was not particularly successful. James became a leading member of the Carry On films team, originally to replace Ted Ray, who had appeared in Carry On Teacher (1959). It was intended that Ray would become a recurring presence in the Carry On series, but he had been dropped after just one film because of contractual problems. James ultimately made 19 Carry On films, receiving top-billing in 17, making him one of the most featured performers of the regular cast.
  • 1954
    Age 40
    Rigelsford was mistaken, as James had previously played an American (with an American accent) in the 1954 film Orders Are Orders and Chaplin's A King in New York (1958), and adopted an Australian accent in Quatermass 2 (1957).
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1954, he had begun working with Tony Hancock in his BBC Radio series Hancock's Half Hour.
    More Details Hide Details Having seen him in The Lavender Hill Mob, it was the idea of Hancock's writers, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, to cast James. He played a character with his own name (but having the invented middle name Balmoral), who was a petty criminal who would usually manage to con Hancock, although the character eventually ceased to be Hancock's adversary. With the exception of James, the other regular cast members of the radio series were dropped when the series made the transition to television. His part in the show now greatly increased, and many viewers regarded Hancock and James as a double act.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1953
    Age 39
    In 1953 he appeared as Harry Hawkins in The Titfield Thunderbolt.
    More Details Hide Details In 1956 he appeared in Trapeze (1956), a circus film which was one of the most successful films of its year, and played Master Henry in "Outlaw Money" an episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood. He also had a supporting part as a TV advertisement producer in Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York, a non-comic supporting role as a journalist in the science-fiction film Quatermass 2 and performed in Hell Drivers (all 1957), a film with Stanley Baker. The next year, James starred with Miriam Karlin in East End, West End by Wolf Mankowitz, a half-hour comedy series for the ITV company Associated Rediffusion. Set within the Jewish community of London's East End, the series of six episodes was transmitted in February and March 1958, but plans for further episodes were abandoned after a disappointing response. For a moment though, it had looked as if his commitment elsewhere might end his work with Tony Hancock, one of the most popular television comedians of the time.
  • 1952
    Age 38
    On 21 August 1952, James married Valerie Elizabeth Patsy Assan (born 1928), an actress who used Ashton as her stage name.
    More Details Hide Details During the latter part of their marriage they lived in a house partly designed by James himself, called Delaford Park, situated in Iver, Buckinghamshire, a location close enough to Pinewood Studios to allow him to return home for lunch while filming. During his marriage to Valerie he had a well-publicised affair with Carry On co-star Barbara Windsor lasting more than 10 years. The affair was dramatised in the 1998 stage-play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and Cor, Blimey!, its 2000 television adaptation. James's obsession with Windsor was such that it was said that her then husband Ronnie Knight had all of James's furniture rearranged at home as a subtle threat and, on another occasion, that he had put an axe in James's floor. Close friends of the time, including Vince Powell and William G. Stewart, have dismissed the suggestions.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1943
    Age 29
    In 1943, he married a dancer, Meg Sergei, née Williams (born 1913).
    More Details Hide Details Five years later they had a daughter, Reina, before divorcing on 17 August 1952.
  • 1940
    Age 26
    James married three times. He and his first wife divorced in 1940, mainly as a result of his many relationships with other women; it was a pattern which continued throughout his life.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1936
    Age 22
    It was at a hairdressing salon in Kroonstad, Orange Free State, that he met his first wife. He married Berthe Sadie Delmont, known as Toots, on 12 August 1936 and they had a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1937.
    More Details Hide Details His father-in-law, Joseph Delmont, a Johannesburg businessman, bought a hairdressing salon for James, but within a year he announced that he wanted to become an actor and joined the Johannesburg Repertory Players. Through this group he gained work with the South African Broadcasting Corporation. During the Second World War he served as a lieutenant in an entertainment unit of the South African Army, and subsequently took up acting as a career. He moved to Britain immediately after the war, financed by his service gratuity. According to rumour, Sid had an affair with the daughter of an important member of Johannesburg society; his decision to move away from South Africa was partly because he was "advised" to leave due to the possible controversy. Initially he worked in repertory before being spotted for the nascent British post-war film industry. James made his first credited film appearances in Night Beat and Black Memory (1947), both crime dramas. He played the alcoholic hero's barman in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Small Back Room (1949).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1913
    Born
    James was born Solomon Joel Cohen, on 8 May 1913, to Jewish parents, in South Africa, later changing his name to Sidney Joel Cohen, and then Sidney James.
    More Details Hide Details His family lived on Hancock Street in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Upon moving to Britain later in life, he claimed various previous occupations, including diamond cutter, dance tutor and boxer; in reality, he had trained and worked as a hairdresser.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)