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Christmas Day, 1946. Sid James, a 33-year-old South African actor and his wife arrive in England. Within days he lands, his first film part; three years later he is starring in the West End; by 1954 Sid James joins Hanthingy's Half Hour and shoots to international stardom in the famous Carry On series of films.
Sid James was always known as the loveable rogue - 'good Old Sid' with 'his battered face and smutty laugh'. His character was always the same - a scam merchant and chaser of booze and birds. His on-screen character in many ways mirrored his personal life.
His biographer Goodwin reveals the so-called loveable thingyney who billed himself as a boxer, jockey and diamond smuggler was in fact a ladies hairdresser back in his native Johannesburg.
Sid James was a compulsive gambler, a drinker and serial womaniser who left behind him broken marriages, broken hearts and a string of illegitimate children. Goodwin quotes a fellow actor as describing James as a 'scheming, gambling mad, heartless skin-flint who made Scrooge look like a public benefactor and who had only one thing on his mind. . .sex.'
On screen his lack of respect for his partners and children is reflected in 'Carry On Again Doctor'. Here James introduces new Doctor, Jim Dale to his wives - 'Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday' - only to complain that 'there was not much doing at weekends.'
'Sid James was a joy to work with, he was a very polite gentleman - a lovely man. We played poker a lot during breaks from shooting - he loved a game of cards and I loved it as well.' - Jim Dale
In 1976 Sid suffered his second heart attack on the opening night of "The Mating Season" at the Sunderland Empire and died.