Sunday, 8 May 2016
Three Cheers for Sidney!
He's a comedy hero to many and still held in great affection by us all forty years after his sad death at the age of 62. While it is unbelievable that so long as past since Sid James' death, it's equally amazing that today is 103 years since his birth.
The lovable South African born Cockney was one of the most popular, most hard working and most prolific actors of his day. Rising through the ranks from bit part player in many post-war, low budget "B" movies, by the mid-1950s Sid was a star. Thanks to his association with Tony Hancock, first of all on radio and later on television, Sid was launched as a comedy star.
The years that followed saw Sid dominate both the small and the big screen. Of course the Carry On series came to dominate his film career there were many other gems from What A Carve Up and Watch Your Stern to The Big Job, Sid often went from one film to the other with quick succession in the 1950s and 60s. As television gained popularity in the 1960s, Sid made the transition with aplomb. From the early days on the BBC with Hancock, Sid was given his own spin-off series in Citizen James. Other series followed, namely Taxi, George and The Dragon, Two in Clover and Bless This House.
As I've often mentioned, I like Sid best in the Carry On films when he was partnered with Joan Sims. They made for a very convincing, believable husband and wife team in many of the films even if Joan had to nag on a bit in some of them. I also loved Sid when he was paired with Hattie Jacques. You could tell they all got on so very well and their closeness made for some excellent, memorable comedy.
Sadly Sid was taken from us at a relatively young age, even back in 1976. Leaving us as he did, on stage in Sunderland, robbed us of a great talent. Some people commented that it never seemed like Sid was acting but for me that just shows what a gifted talent he was. He was such a natural and we must all be thankful he found his niche with the Carry On gang at Pinewood.
The strength of Sid's onscreen persona means he's as popular today with all generations as he was in his heyday. And long may that continue!
Cheers Sid, thanks for everything.
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