Joan Sims

Joan Sims

Joan Sims and Sid James appeared in 17 Carry on films together. This is a record in movie history. Three were as husband and wife (Up the Khyber, Henry and Abroad) and three as the main 'love interest' (Camping, Loving and At your Convenience). They were dubbed First Lady and King of Carry On respectively.

Anthony Asquith once told her that she couldn't play a serious role because she had such a happy cheery face.

A plaque dedicated to her memory was unveiled where she lived at Thackeray Street, Kensington, London in September 2002 by Barbara Windsor. She was joined by other stars of the classic Carry On film series including Liz Fraser. A celebratory lunch followed the unveiling which included other old friends, including John Inman.

A plaque in her memory was unveiled in June 2005 at Laindon railway station in Essex. She lived in the station house for 22 years where her father Harry was station master.

Appeared in 24 Carry On films and was the longest serving female cast member of the Carry On team. Other long serving members were Sid James; Kenneth Williams; Charles Hawtrey; Bernard Bresslaw; Patsy Rowlands; Hattie Jacques; Kenneth Connor; Jim Dale; Peter Butterworth; Barbara Windsor; and Terry Scott.

Became a good friend of Katharine Hepburn during the filming of Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV). Hepburn allowed her to use her caravan during filming breaks, although she did tick her off for smoking. Sims later described working on this film as one of the high points of her whole career.

Claimed to have never married because the right person had not come along.

Daughter of a Railway Station Master from Laindon, Essex, England.

Developed a drink problem in the early 1980s after the death of her good friend, Hattie Jacques, her agent and her mother. She eventually had to go into hospital to recover from her alcoholism.

During Upstairs and Downstairs (1959) she bruised her leg during a scene after falling over a suitcase. The pain got worse during the filming of Carry on Teacher (1959), she developed thrombo-phlebitis, and had her bad leg propped up on off-camera cushions during filming. The first-aid unit were not able to treat the condition and she was then hospitalised for 10 days causing filming to be rescheduled.

For most of the "Carry On" movies she appeared in, she was only paid a fee of £2,500 per film.

Fractured her hip in 2000 and spent two weeks in the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, England. She was provided with a replacement hip and recovered well.

Good friend of David Kernan. She went on holiday with him to the south of France after the filming of Carry on Abroad (1972).

Good friend of the Two Ronnies, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett.

Had a relationship with Anthony Baird but her parents intervened to end the relationship after they found that she was living with the actor in 'sin'. They sent her a frankly worded letter even though she was in her late 20s and she obeyed her parents command. She blamed her loneliness later in life on this experience, where she was unable to commit to a relationship without her parents approval.

Had a short relationship with Hollywood star Tyrone Power.

Her ashes were scattered at Putney Vale Cemetery, London.

Her character in Carry on Henry VIII (1971), Queen Marie, is in love with garlic during the film. In rehearsals, peppermint was used for the garlic. However on one occasion, director Gerald Thomas replaced the peppermint with real garlic. This remained in the film: Joan's reaction on screen is obvious.

Her father was a station master, she spent much of her childhood entertaining passengers with impromptu stage routines on the station platform and befriending any poor soul who missed their train and became stranded there. Such diversions sparked an interest in pursuing showbusiness and Joan soon became a familiar face in a growing number of amateur productions.

Her favourite character that she played in the Carry On films was 'Belle Armitage' in Carry on Cowboy (1966).