Carry On writer Norman Hudis dies

Tuesday 9th February 2016, 12:38pm

Carry On Forever. Norman Hudis. Copyright: Shiver Productions

Norman Hudis, the writer of the first six Carry On films, has died in California at the age of 93.

The film, theatre and television writer created the screenplays for Carry On Sergeant in 1958, Carry On Nurse and Carry On Teacher in 1959, Carry On Constable in 1960, Carry On Regardless in 1961 and Carry On Cruising in 1962.

His widow Rita Hudis said in a statement: "He died peacefully at home with myself and Stephen and Kevin, his two sons. He did well to reach 93. We will miss him. Our 60th anniversary would have been on the 28th April."

Born in East London, Hudis first started writing as a journalist for his local paper before joining the RAF during World War II to work on Air Force News. Following the end of the war, he started creating scripts for military camp concerts. Later, his play Here Is The News was spotted by film producers based at Pinewood Studios, who offered him a job as a trainee screenwriter.

Hudis left Pinewood to become a freelance writer soon afterwards, when bosses declined to use any of his scripts. During this time as a freelancer he worked on a number of films, including Breakaway, Passport To Treason and High Terrace.

Norman Hudis

In 1957 Norman Hudis scripted the low-budget The Tommy Steele Story, one of Britain's first rock and roll movies. It was a million-pound box-office success and Hudis was offered a long-term contract by its producer, Peter Rogers.

The same year, Rogers tasked him with adapting an original script by R. F. Delderfield, The Bull Boys. The result was Carry On Sergeant, the first of the 31 films in what would become Britain's longest-running film series.

Asked about Sergeant in 2009 and whether he knew it would be a hit, Hudis replied: "No. I wasn't even sure it would be a success as a film. It was one job amongst many."

Following the success of Carry On Sergeant, Hudis wrote the next five films in the franchise before being replaced by Talbot Rothwell. The second film was Carry On Nurse, decided by and based upon wife Rita's profession. He told documentary Carry On Forever in 2015: "I did that script in 10 days. Plenty of material from Rita and exaggerated invention by me."

In the mid-1960s Hudis moved to America where he went on to work on TV scripts including The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Hawaii Five-O. However, he continued to write for the UK market too.

In 2003 he co-created the multi-country hit stage play Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners, and worked on staging Jeffrey Archer's prison diaries.

In 2008, Hudis published his autobiography No Laughing Matter: How I Carried On.

Here is an interview Norman Hudis gave in 2009, marking the 50th anniversary of the Carry On series:

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