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Sid James
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    (May 18, 1913-April 26, 1976)
    Born in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Birth name was Sidney Joel Cohen
    Starred in the British TV series 'Hancock's Half Hour' (1954-60), 'Citizen James' (1960-62) and 'Bless This House' (1971-76)
    Appeared in 19 'Carry On' films (1960-74)
    Also appeared in 'The Small Back Room' (1949), 'The Lavender Hill Mob' (1951), 'Lady Godiva Rides Again' (1951) and 'Quartermass 2' (1956)
    He was the preferred choice of Ian Fleming to play James Bond, but he turned down the part out of fear of being typecast.
    Instead, he made the 'Carry On' films and was typecast as a dirty old man.
    Almost all the characters he played were named Sid or Sidney.
    He was a chronic gambler who borrowed money from friends and never repaid them.
    He was constantly in debt to the British tax authorities.
    His ghost allegedly haunts the Sunderland Empire theatre where he died.
    He was nicknamed 'One Take James.'
    He was let go from the last season of 'Hancock's Half Hour' because he was drawing more laughs than star Tony Hancock.
    Thom Yorke of Radiohead keeps a picture of James on his piano.

Credit: C. Fishel

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