It is with great sadness that I report the news that the original Carry On screenwriter, Norman Hudis, had died at the age of 93. Hudis died on Monday in California, surrounded by his family, including wife Rita and sons Stephen and Kevin. The Independent reports that Norman had recently spent several weeks in a local hospice.
While we must celebrate Noman's long and productive life, it is still a very sad time for his family and all who knew him. With him goes one of the last precious links to those wonderful early black and white Carry Ons. Norman scripted the first six films in the series - Sergeant, Nurse, Teacher, Constable, Regardless and Cruising) as well as contributing scripts for a wide variety of other Rogers and Thomas films produced around that time.
Hudis' contribution to the Carry On legacy cannot be overlooked. Although he departed the series and this country before the films had reached their peak of notoriety, he certainly sowed the seeds for a great series. Many of my favourite Carry Ons come from the Hudis era. I loved the gentleness, the coy 1950s atmosphere and the hint of social commentary he brought to his films.
After leaving for the United States in the mid 1960s, Hudis continued to write successfully, contributing to famous television series such as The Man From UNCLE and Hawaii Five-0. He never lost touch with his roots though, regularly returning to Pinewood for reunions and conventions. He published an autobiography, No Laughing Matter, in 2008.
Norman Hudis made one of his last appearances in the 2015 Carry On Forever documentary. His was a welcome presence as he reminisced about the early years of Carry On and all the stars he knew and wrote for.
Thank you Norman for all the laughs, the stories and the wonderful legacy.