Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


Sid James

Sid James

Arrived in Britain on Dec 25th 1946, spending his army demob money on one-way tickets. Once described as "The man with a face like an unmade bed!". Voted (some time ago) to have the world's dirtiest laugh.

Career prior to acting was as a top ladies' hairdresser in South Africa.

Collapsed and died on-stage of a heart attack while appearing in "The Mating Game" at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland.

Frequently remembered as a former boxer, but he never actually was! People got that impression that he had been a boxer from his craggy features and bulbous nose.

Had an affair with "Carry On..." series star Barbara Windsor from 1973 until his death in 1976. Their life together is chronicled in the movie Cor, Blimey! (2000) (TV). Ms. Windsor is an advisor to the cast.



He is the father of Stephen James, a musician and sound technician who appeared on Fortran 5's debut album "Blues", in October 1991. The song "Bike" heavily sampled Sid's voice and distinctive laugh. Also, Sidney James' portrait appears on the album cover.

His best friends were his Carry On co-stars Patsy Rowlands and Peter Butterworth.

His daughter, Sue James, is a children's TV Producer.

His son, Steve James is a music producer.

In late 1960s, he attended a showbusiness houseparty near the Thames and, according to a TV news bulletin, was the hero of the hour because fire broke out and Sid kept dashing back indoors to help others to safety. Apparently, the emergency services had to eventually restrain him from re-entering the fire.

Sid and Meg had a daughter Reine (named after Sid's mother)

Sid was nicknamed "One take James" because he nearly always did it right first time. He was also earning the highest daily rate of any British character actor.

Suffered a serious heart attack in 1967, and was therefore replaced by Phil Silvers as the star of Carry on in the Legion (1967).

Was friends with Laurence Harvey until they worked on The Silent Enemy (1958) together. According to the book "A Biography Of Sid James", James was offered the role of Chief Petty Officer Thorpe on the recommendation of Harvey, but their friendship ended during the filming. He found Harvey to be "pompous and full of his own importance".

Was infamous for using branded products in the Carry On films and advertising them. In one particular film he opened a cupboard to reveal a cupboard full of Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch Whiskey.

Was the regular sidekick-cum-bête noir of Tony Hancock throughout the six series of the radio series "Hancock's Half Hour". Likewise, became Hancock's regular pal in the TV series "Hancock's Half Hour" (1956), until the final series when Hancock decided it was getting too much like a double act.


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