Friday 2 March 2018

My Top 20 Carry On Actors: Number 19 - Liz Fraser

This is part of a brand new series of blogs where I will take a purely personal look at my favourite Carry On actors. I will be doing a countdown of my top twenty actors and actresses in this, the sixtieth anniversary year of Carry On. So why top twenty? Well top ten didn't allow me to include all my favourites and any more than twenty and I'd be at it forever, as it were.

This top twenty will be a mix of regular top team actors and many of those instantly recognisable supporting actors who popped in and out of the series, adding superb cameos here and there. You will probably agree with some of my main choices and be vehemently opposed to others, but it's meant to encourage debate! 

So here we go with Number Nineteen: that blonde bombshell from South London, Liz Fraser.

As an actor, Liz Fraser is known for her glamorous blonde comedic persona but she is so much more than that. As one of the many Carry On blondes, Liz has an important place in the history of the series as she was the first to be gorgeous and funny. She more than holds her on against the men and her fellow actresses and is a joy in her three early Carry On films. 

Coming in at short notice to replace an ill Hattie Jacques in Carry On Regardless, the re-written role of Delia King launched Liz as a fresh young part of the team. Fraser returned for eye-catching roles in the colourful, breezy Carry On Cruising in early 1962 and then a supporting role as Kenneth Connor's girlfriend Sally in the brilliant "kitchen sink" Carry On, Cabby in 1963. Although she was offered the role Juliet Mills went on to play in Carry On Jack but turned it down in favour of broadening out her film career with more dramatic parts. Liz did return for a small role as Windsor Davies' suspicious wife in Carry On Behind but it was a far cry from her earlier roles.

I will always have a soft spot for Liz, she's a colourful personality and a cracking actress, capable of much more than you may think. She's had a very varied career on stage and screen and should be remembered for much more than these Carry On appearances as great as they are. A lifelong friend to Joan Sims and a brilliant force of nature, Liz would almost definitely be higher up this list if she had gone on to appear in more of the Carry On series.

So Liz Fraser comes in at Number 19 in my top twenty list of favourite actors. Who'll be next?

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