Born Joel Solomon Cohen on 8 May 1913 in Johannesburg, South Africa, former hairdresser Sid James became a lieutenant in the South African Army's entertainment unit during World War Two. It was here he caught the acting bug.
He moved to Britain in 1946, where he won numerous dramatic film roles.
In 1951, The Lavender Hill Mob turned his career around, exhibiting James' talent for comedy. Three years later he was working with Tony Hancock in Hancock's Half Hour.
An even more important development occurred in 1960, with James cast in Carry On Constable. It was to be the first of his 19 appearances in the Carry On franchise, which resulted in the popular perception of the actor as a womanising rogue with a dirty laugh.
More sitcom success followed in the 1970s with Bless This House, which ran right up until his death in April 1976.
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