Carry On Henry. Henry VIII (Sid James). Copyright: Peter Rogers Productions

Solomon Joel Cohen was born to English parents in Johannesburg, South Africa, but found fame as a comedy actor after moving to England. He first rose to stardom as the duplicitous spiv in Galton & Simpson's Hancock's Half Hour, both on radio and TV. He went on to star in 19 of 31 Carry On films. The 1960s and 1970s also saw him star in a variety of his own television series, for both the BBC and ITV. Notably, Citizen James, George And The Dragon, Two In Clover, and Bless This House.

Year Production Role
2023 Great Lives - Hattie Jacques Self (Archive Material)
2022 Sid James: Comedy Icon Self (Archive Material)
2019 Comedy Legends - Series 2
  1. E10 - Sid James
Self (Archive Material)
2015 Talking Pictures: Great British Comedies Self (Archive Material)
2015 The Essay: British Film Comedians Subject
2015 Carry On Forever
  1. E2 - Episode Two
Self (Archive Material)
2013 Tony Hancock: From Bournemouth To East Cheam Self (Archive Material)
2013 Sid James: Not Just A Dirty Laugh Self (Archive Material)
2013 The Many Faces Of... - Series 3
  1. E3 - The Many Faces Of Sid James
Self (Archive Material)
2013 Radio 2's History Of British Comedy
  1. E2 - Episode Two
Self (Archive Material)
2011 Greatest Ever Carry On Films Self (Archive Material)
2011 Legends Of British Comedy
View episodes
  1. E2 - Sid! - The Best Of Sid James
Self (Archive Material)
2011 My Favourite Joke
  1. E6 - Episode Six
Self (Archive Material)
2010 Carry On Forever! Self (Archive Material)
2009 Very Nearly An Armful - The Galton & Simpson Story Self (Archive Material)
2005 The Unknown Hancock Self (Archive Material)
2004 Hancock's Helpers Self (Archive Material)
2002 Heroes Of Comedy - Series 6
  1. E2 - Sid James
Self (Archive Material)
2000 The Unforgettable... - Series 2
  1. E3 - Sid James
Self (Archive Material)
1999 H-H-H-Happy Birthday Hancock Self (Archive Material)
1984 What A Carry On (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - Episode One
  2. E2 - Episode Two
  3. E3 - Episode Three
  4. E4 - Episode Four
  5. E5 - Episode Five
  6. E6 - Episode Six
  7. E7 - Episode Seven
  8. E8 - Episode Eight
  9. E9 - Episode Nine
  10. E10 - Episode Ten
  11. E11 - Episode Eleven
  12. E12 - Episode Twelve
  13. E13 - Episode Thirteen
Self (Archive Material)
1984 Briers On Hancock Self
1977 That's Carry On! (as Sidney James) Self (Archive Material)
1976 Bless This House - Series 6
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Frozen Limit
  2. E2 - Beautiful Dreamer
  3. E3 - Fish With Everything
  4. E4 - The Naked Paperhanger
  5. E5 - Remember Me?
  6. E6 - Something Of Value
  7. E7 - Men Of Consequence
  8. E8 - Skin Deep
  9. E9 - Friends & Neighbours
  10. E10 - Well, Well, Well...
  11. E11 - The Phantom Pools Winner
  12. E12 - A Matter Of Principle
  13. E13 - Some Enchanted Evening
Sid Abbott
1975 Carry On Laughing - Series 1
  1. E4 - Orgy And Bess
Sir Francis Drake
1975 Carry On Laughing - Series 1
  1. E3 - The Sobbing Cavalier
Lovelace
1975 Carry On Laughing - Series 1
  1. E2 - The Baron Outlook
Baron Hubert
1975 Carry On Laughing - Series 1
  1. E1 - The Prisoner Of Spenda
Arnold Basket
1975 Carry On Laughing - Series 1
  1. E1 - The Prisoner Of Spenda
Prince Rupert
1974 Bless This House - Series 5
View episodes
  1. E1 - They Don't Write Songs Like That Anymore
  2. E2 - The Gipsy's Warning
  3. E3 - The Biggest Woodworm In The World
  4. E4 - Home Tweet Home
  5. E5 - You're Never Too Old To Be Young
  6. E6 - The Policeman, The Paint And The Pirates
  7. E7 - Happy Birthday Sid
  8. E8 - Freedom Is
  9. E9 - Mr. Chairman......
  10. E10 - ....And Afterwards At....
Sid Abbott
1974 Carry On Dick (as Sidney James) Richard 'Big Dick' Turpin / Reverend Flasher
1974 Bless This House - Series 4
View episodes
  1. E1 - Money Is The Root Of...
  2. E2 - And They Will Come Home...
  3. E3 - Who's Minding The Baby?
  4. E4 - A Beef In His Bonnet
  5. E5 - The Bells Are Ringing
  6. E6 - The First 25 Years Are The Worst
Sid Abbott
1973 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Mr Belcher
1973 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Seed Pod
1973 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Sir Henry
1973 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Sergeant Ball
1973 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Robin Hood
1973 What A Carry On! (as Sidney James) Self
1973 Carry On Girls (as Sidney James) Cllr Sidney Fiddler
1973 Bless This House - Series 3
View episodes
  1. E1 - It Comes To Us All In The End
  2. E2 - Tea For Two & Four For Tea
  3. E3 - To Tell Or Not To Tell
  4. E4 - Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  5. E5 - One Good Turn Deserves A Bother
  6. E6 - The Loneliness Of The Short Distance Walker
  7. E7 - Watch The Birdie
  8. E8 - Will The Real Sid Abbott Please Stand Up
  9. E9 - Atishoo! Atishoo! We All Fall Down
  10. E10 - Entente Not So Cordiale
  11. E11 - I'm Not Jealous, I'll Kill Him
  12. E12 - A Girl's Worst Friend Is Her Father
Sid Abbott
1972 Carry On Abroad (as Sidney James) Vic Flange
1972 Carry On Matron (as Sidney James) Sid Carter
1972 Bless This House - Series 2
View episodes
  1. E1 - Two Heads Are Better Than One
  2. E2 - Love Me, Love My Tree
  3. E3 - It's All In The Mind
  4. E4 - Another Lost Weekend
  5. E5 - Parents Should Be Seen And Not Heard
  6. E6 - Strangers In The Night
  7. E7 - Get Me To The Match On Time
  8. E8 - Wives And Lovers
  9. E9 - Never Again On Sunday
  10. E10 - People In Glass Houses
  11. E11 - A Rolls By Any Other Name
  12. E12 - A Touch Of The Unknown
Sid Abbott
1972 Bless This House Sid Abbot
1971 All This - And Christmas Too! Sid Jones
1971 Carry On At Your Convenience (as Sidney James) Sid Plummer
1971 Carry On Henry (as Sidney James) Henry VIII
1971 A Story Of Our Time: What Happened To Hancock? Self
1971 Bless This House - Series 1
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Generation Gap
  2. E2 - Mum's The Word
  3. E3 - Father's Day
  4. E4 - Be It Ever So Humble
  5. E5 - Another Fine Mess...
  6. E6 - For Whom The Bells Toll
  7. E7 - A Woman's Place
  8. E8 - The Day Of Rest
  9. E9 - Make Love...Not War!
  10. E10 - Charity Begins At Home
  11. E11 - If The Dog Collar Fits ... Wear It!
  12. E12 - The Morning After The Night Before
Sid Abbott
1970 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Again Christmas (as Sidney James)
  1. Carry On Again Christmas
Long John Silver
1970 Carry On Loving (as Sidney James) Sidney Bliss
1970 Carry On Forever (as Sidney James) Self
1970 Carry On Up The Jungle (as Sidney James) Bill Boosey
1970 Two In Clover - Series 2 (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - Episode One
  2. E2 - Episode Two
  3. E3 - Episode Three
  4. E4 - Episode Four
  5. E5 - Episode Five
  6. E6 - Episode Six
Sid Turner
1969 Carry On Christmas - Carry On Christmas
  1. Carry On Christmas
Scrooge
1969 Carry On Again Doctor (as Sidney James) Gladstone Screwer
1969 Carry On Camping (as Sidney James) Sid Boggle
1969 Two In Clover - Series 1 (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - Episode One
  2. E2 - Episode Two
  3. E3 - Episode Three
  4. E4 - Episode Four
  5. E5 - Episode Five
  6. E6 - Episode Six
  7. E7 - Episode Seven
Sid Turner
1969 Carry On Christmas Various
1969 Carry On Christmas Various
1969 Carry On Christmas Various
1968 Carry On... Up The Khyber (as Sidney James) Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond
1968 George And The Dragon - Series 4
View episodes
  1. E1 - Backing Britain
  2. E2 - The Football Match
  3. E3 - Gabrielle's Birthday
  4. E4 - Life Insurance
  5. E5 - Floribunda Gabrielle
  6. E6 - Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing
George Russell
1968 Carry On Doctor (as Sidney James) Mr. Roper
1968 George And The Dragon - Series 3
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Reunion
  2. E2 - Court Case
  3. E3 - The TV Set
  4. E4 - The Holiday
  5. E5 - The 10.15 Train
  6. E6 - Family Tree
  7. E7 - Big Deal
George Russell
1967 George And The Dragon - Series 2
View episodes
  1. E1 - TV Conflict
  2. E2 - Sunday Morning
  3. E3 - The French Lesson
  4. E4 - The Learner Driver
  5. E5 - The Old Flame
  6. E6 - Table Manners
  7. E7 - Friendship Bureau
George Russell
1966 Don't Lose Your Head (as Sidney James) Sir Rodney Ffing
1966 George And The Dragon - Series 1
View episodes
  1. E1 - George Meets The Dragon
  2. E2 - The Not So Tender Trap
  3. E3 - The Unexpected Sport
  4. E4 - Night, Night, Sleep Tight
  5. E5 - The Royal Letter
  6. E6 - Merry Christmas
George Russell
1965 Sid And Dora Sid Edge
1965 Carry On Cowboy (as Sidney James) The Rumpo Kid
1965 The Big Job George 'The Great Brain'
1965 Three Hats For Lisa (as Sidney James) Sid Marks
1964 The Beauty Jungle (as Sydney James) Butlin's Judge
1964 Taxi! - Series 2 (as Sidney James) Sid Stone
1964 Carry On Cleo (as Sidney James) Mark Antony
1963 Taxi! - Series 1 (as Sidney James) Sid Stone
1963 Carry On Cabby (as Sidney James) Charlie Hawkins
1962 We Joined The Navy Dance Instructor
1962 Citizen James - Series 3 (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Hospital
  2. E2 - The Play's The Thing
  3. E3 - The Tennis Ball
  4. E4 - It's Not Cricket
  5. E5 - The Reporter
  6. E6 - The Day Out
  7. E7 - The Transistor
  8. E8 - The Old People's Outing
  9. E9 - A Perfect Friendship?
  10. E10 - The Watchdog
  11. E11 - The Librarian
  12. E12 - The Tube Station
  13. E13 - The Jury
Sid James
1962 Carry On Cruising (as Sidney James) Captain Wellington Crowther
1961 What A Carve Up (as Sidney James) Syd Butler
1961 What A Whopper (as Sidney James) Harry
1961 Citizen James - Series 2 (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Lamp
  2. E2 - Crusty Bread
  3. E3 - Episode Three
  4. E4 - Episode Four
  5. E5 - Episode Five
  6. E6 - Episode Six
  7. E7 - Episode Seven
  8. E8 - Episode Eight
  9. E9 - Episode Nine
  10. E10 - Episode Ten
  11. E11 - Teenagers
  12. E12 - Episode Twelve
  13. E13 - Episode Thirteen
Sid James
1961 It's A Deal (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E13 - Episode Thirteen
Sid
1961 A Weekend With Lulu (as Sidney James) English Gambler
1961 Carry On Regardless (as Sidney James) Bert Handy
1961 The Sid James Show Self
1961 Raising The Wind (as Sidney James) Sid
1961 Double Bunk (as Sidney James) Sid Randall
1960 The Pure Hell Of St. Trinian's (as Sidney James) Alphonse O'Reilly
1960 Citizen James - Series 1 (as Sidney James)
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Race
  2. E2 - The Elixir
  3. E3 - The Raffle
  4. E4 - The Money
  5. E5 - The Brand Image
  6. Special - Christmas Night With The Stars
  7. E6 - The Rivals
Sid James
1960 Watch Your Stern (as Sidney James) Chief Petty Officer Mundy
1960 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 6
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Cold
  2. E2 - The Missing Page
  3. E3 - The Emigrant
  4. E4 - The Reunion Party
  5. E5 - Sid In Love
  6. E6 - The Babysitters
  7. E7 - The Ladies' Man
  8. E8 - The Photographer
  9. E9 - The East Cheam Centenary
  10. E10 - The Poison Pen Letters
Sidney Balmoral James
1960 Carry On, Constable (as Sidney James) Sergeant Frank Wilkins
1960 And The Same To You (as Sidney James) Sammy Gatt
1959 Too Many Crooks (as Sidney James) Sid
1959 Tommy The Toreador (as Sidney James) Cadena
1959 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 5
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Economy Drive
  2. E2 - The Two Murderers
  3. E3 - Lord Byron Lived Here
  4. E4 - Twelve Angry Men
  5. E5 - The Train Journey
  6. E6 - The Cruise
  7. E7 - The Big Night
  8. E8 - The Tycoon
  9. E9 - Spanish Interlude
  10. E10 - Football Pools
Sidney Balmoral James
1959 Make Mine A Million Sid Gibson
1958 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 4
View episodes
  1. E1 - Ericson The Viking
  2. E2 - Underpaid! Or, Grandad's SOS
  3. E3 - The Set That Failed
  4. E4 - The New Nose
  5. E5 - The Flight Of The Red Shadow
  6. E6 - The Horror Serial
  7. E7 - The Italian Maid
  8. E8 - Matrimony - Almost
  9. E9 - The Beauty Contest
  10. E10 - The Wrong Man
  11. E11 - The Oak Tree
  12. E12 - The Knighthood
Sidney Balmoral James
1958 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 4 (as Sidney James)
  1. E2 - Underpaid! Or, Grandad's SOS
Sid's Grandfather (Voice)
1958 East End - West End Sid
1958 The Sheriff Of Fractured Jaw (as Sidney James) The Drunk
1958 Next To No Time! (as Sidney James) Albert
1957 Hancock's Forty-Three Minutes (as Sidney James) Sidney James
1957 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 3
View episodes
  1. E1 - The Continental Holiday
  2. E2 - The Great Detective
  3. E3 - The Amusement Arcade
  4. E4 - A Holiday In Scotland
  5. E5 - Air Steward Hancock: The Last Of The Many
  6. E6 - The Regimental Reunion
  7. E7 - The Adopted Family
  8. E8 - The Elocution Teacher
  9. E9 - The Lawyer: The Crown v Sidney James
  10. E10 - Competitions: How To Win Money And Influence People
  11. E11 - There's An Airfield At The Bottom Of My Garden
  12. Special - Hancock's Forty-Three Minutes
Sidney Balmoral James
1957 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 2
View episodes
  1. E4 - The New Neighbour
  2. E5 - The Pianist
  3. E6 - The Auction
Sidney Balmoral James
1957 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 2 (as Sidney James)
  1. E3 - The Russian Prince
General Sidski
1957 The Smallest Show On Earth (as Sidney James) Mr. Hogg
1956 Dry Rot (as Sidney James) Flash Harry
1956 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 1
View episodes
  1. E1 - The First TV Show
  2. E2 - The Artist
  3. E3 - The Dancer
  4. E4 - The Bequest
  5. E5 - The Radio Show
  6. E6 - The Chef That Died Of Shame
Sidney Balmoral James
1956 Finkel's Cafe (as Sidney James) Actor
1955 John And Julie (as Sidney James) Arthur Pritchett
1955 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 3
View episodes
  1. E10 - The Trial Of Father Christmas
  2. E11 - Cinderella Hancock
  3. E20 - The Test Match
Sidney James
1955 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 2
View episodes
  1. E1 - A Holiday In France
  2. E2 - The Crown Jewels
  3. E3 - The Racehorse
  4. E4 - A Visit To Swansea
  5. E6 - The Chef That Died Of Shame
  6. E9 - The Television Set
  7. E10 - The Three Sons
Sidney James
1955 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 1
  1. E10 - Cinderella Hancock
Tailor
1954 Orders Are Orders (as Sidney James) Ed Waggermeyer
1954 Hancock's Half Hour - Series 1
View episodes
  1. E1 - The First Night Party
  2. E2 - The Diamond Ring
  3. E3 - The Idol
  4. E4 - The Boxing Champion
  5. E6 - The New Car
  6. E10 - Cinderella Hancock
  7. E11 - A Trip To France
  8. E12 - The Monte Carlo Rally
  9. E13 - A House On The Cliff
  10. E15 - The Marriage Bureau
Sidney James
1954 The Crowded Day (as Sidney James) Joe
1954 The Belles Of St. Trinian's (as Sidney James) Benny
1954 For Better, For Worse (as Sidney James) The Foreman
1953 Will Any Gentleman...? (as Sidney James) Mr. Hobson
1953 The Titfield Thunderbolt (as Sidney James) Harry Hawkins
1952 Miss Robin Hood (as Sidney James) Sidney
1952 Lady Godiva Rides Again (as Sidney James) Lew Beeson
1952 Time Gentlemen Please! (as Sidney James) Eric Hace
1951 The Galloping Major (as Sidney James) Bookmaker
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob (as Sidney James) Lackery
1951 Here's Television (as Sidney James) Actor
1950 Last Holiday (as Sidney James) Joe Clarence

Non-comedy TV and film credits may be found here:
Sid James on IMDb

Born
Thursday 8th May 1913
Died
Monday 26th April 1976 (aged 62)
Full name
Sidney James
Birth name
Solomon Joel Cohen
AKA
Sidney Joel Cohen
Nationality
British / South African
Wife
Berthe Delmont (1936 - 1940)
Meg Williams (1943 - 1952)
Valerie James (1952 - 1976)

Solomon Joel Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 1913. His parents were Jewish music hall artistes from London's East End, and - having initially trained and worked as a barber before turning to acting - it was to England he would return, arriving in Southampton on Boxing Day 1946.

Having adopted the name Sidney James, he had joined the Johannesburg Repertory Company in the late 1930s and entertained his fellow South African servicemen during the war, also becoming a regular on radio and on stage. Such was his success and variety of work that it is remarkable he chose to start again from scratch with a move to England.

However, he did not have to worry as his career in Britain began almost immediately. Within 12 months he had secured two credited film roles, not to mention a ream of stage credits. Radio soon followed, and television after that. Somewhat of a workaholic, James never turned down an offer of work unless he was already busy elsewhere.

He first rose to a position of real stardom as the duplicitous spiv in Galton & Simpson's Hancock's Half Hour, initially on radio and later television. In both mediums the sitcom gripped the nation. His first appearance in the Carry On films was in 1960's Constable, and he would become one of the series' biggest stars, appearing in 19 of the 31 titles.

The 1960s and 1970s also saw him star in a variety of his own television series, both for the BBC and ITV. Notably, Citizen James, George And The Dragon, Two In Clover, and Bless This House.

The latter, domestic comedy was by far the biggest hit, running for six series and a feature film spin-off. It was brought to an end only with his death, aged just 62. Like numerous other stars of his generation, Sid collapsed whilst performing for an audience, suffering a fatal heart attack on stage at the Sunderland Empire on the 26th April 1976.

Correct/update this page

Share this page