30 Facts About Sid James


Sid James was best known for numerous roles in the Carry On film series.


Sid James appeared in the film The Lavender Hill Mob in 1951, starring Alec Guinness.


Sid James's profile was raised as Tony Hancock's co-star in Hancock's Half Hour, first in the radio series and later when it was adapted for television and ran from 1954 to 1960.


Sid James starred in the 1970s sitcom Bless This House until his death in 1976.


Sid James's family lived on Hancock Street in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.


Sid James claimed various previous occupations, including diamond cutter, dance tutor and boxer, but in reality had trained and worked as a hairdresser.


Sid James married Berthe Sadie Delmont, known as Toots, on 12 August 1936 and they had a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1937.


Sid James moved to the United Kingdom in December 1946, financed by his service gratuity.


Sid James made his first credited film appearances in Night Beat and Black Memory in 1947, both crime dramas.


Sid James played the alcoholic hero's barman in Powell and Pressburger's The Small Back Room in 1949.


Sid James appeared in Lady Godiva Rides Again and The Galloping Major, both films were released in 1951, and as Harry Hawkins in The Titfield Thunderbolt, and had a lead role in The Wedding of Lilli Marlene.


Sid James had a supporting part as a TV advertisement producer in Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York, a non-comic supporting role as a journalist in the science-fiction film Quatermass 2, and he performed in Hell Drivers, a film with Stanley Baker.


The next year, Sid James starred with Miriam Karlin in East End, West End by Wolf Mankowitz, a half-hour comedy series for the ITV company Associated Rediffusion.


Sid James had begun working with Tony Hancock in 1954, in his BBC Radio series Hancock's Half Hour.


Sid James played a character with his own name who was a petty criminal and would usually manage to con Hancock in some way, although the character eventually ceased to be Hancock's adversary.


Sid James was now consistently taking the lead role in his television work.


Sid James's name is heard announced, and the show is seen on a television camera seconds later.


Sid James became a leading member of the Carry On films team, originally to replace Ted Ray, who had appeared in Carry On Teacher.


Sid James ultimately made 19 Carry On films, receiving top billing in 17, making him one of the most featured performers of the regular cast.


In Henry and Dick, Sid James played the title roles, while in Carry On Cleo he played Mark Antony.


In 1967, Sid James was intending to play Sergeant Nocker in Follow That Camel, but was already committed to recording the TV series George and the Dragon for ATV, then one of the ITV contractors.


Sid James was replaced in Follow That Camel by the American comic actor Phil Silvers.


On 13 May 1967, two weeks after the filming began of what eventually became an entry in the Carry On series, Sid James suffered a severe heart attack.


Sid James and his first wife, Berthe Sadie Delmont, were married in 1936 and a daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1937; they were divorced in 1940, mainly as a result of his many relationships with other women.


On 21 August 1952, Sid James married Valerie Elizabeth Patsy Assan, an actress who used Ashton as her stage name.


Sid James was an inveterate and largely unsuccessful gambler, losing tens of thousands of pounds over his lifetime.


Sid James was on tour on a revival of production The Mating Season, on 26 April, 1976 when he suffered a heart attack on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.


Sid James was cremated and his ashes were scattered at Golders Green Crematorium.


Sid James was played by Geoffrey Hutchings in Terry Johnson's play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, which premiered at the National Theatre in 1998.


The producer of the forthcoming BBC Carry On documentary, Richard Latto, contacted Sid James's surviving daughters after confirming the recording's authenticity.