Wednesday 11 April 2018

Carry On Originals: Bill Owen

This is part of a new series of blogs looking back at the stars of the original Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant. 2018 marks 60 years since Sergeant was made and released so what better time to turn the focus on all those brilliant actors who brought our favourite series of comedy films to life? 

I'm continuing today with an actor who appeared in countless post-war films before finding lasting fame in a BBC sitcom, Bill Owen.

Role in Carry On Sergeant: Corporal Copping

Other Carry On roles: Bill returned for the next film in the series, playing hospital patient Percy Hickson in Carry On Nurse. Owen made two further smaller appearances in the series, first of all as Helping Hands employee Mike Weston in Carry On Regardless in 1961 and as grumpy cab driver Smiley Sims in Carry On Cabby two years later.

Other notable film performances: The Square Ring, as Happy Burns (1953); Davy, as Eric (1958); Carve Her Name with Pride, as the NCO Instructor (1958); On The Fiddle, as Corporal Gittens (1961); Georgy Girl, as Ted (1966) and O Lucky Man!, as Supt Barlow/Insp. Carding (1973).

Best remembered for: Bill Owen will forever be remembered for his long running role as Compo in the Roy Clarke comedy series, Last of the Summer Wine. Bill stayed with the series from 1973 until his death.

Did you know?: An early television comedy success for Owen came in the Sid James vehicle (as it were) Taxi, broadcast on BBC1 between 1963 and 1964. 

What happened to him?: Bill died at the age of 85 in July 1999 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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