Sidney "Sid" James (born Solomon Joel Cohen; 8 May 1913 – 26 April 1976) was a British character and comic actor born into a middle-class Jewish family in South Africa.Appearing in British films from 1947, he was cast in numerous small and supporting roles into the 1950s.
His profile was raised as Tony Hancock's co-star in Hancock's Half Hour, first in the radio series and later when it was adapted for television and ran from 1954 to 1961.
Afterwards, he became known as a regular performer in the Carry On films, appearing in nineteen films of the series, with the top billing role in 17 (in the other two he was cast below Frankie Howerd).
Meanwhile, his starring roles in television sitcoms continued for the rest of his life.
He starred alongside Diana Coupland in the 1970s sitcom Bless This House until his death in 1976.
Remembered for a lascivious persona in the Carry On films, with the Snopes website describing him as "the grand old man of dirty laughter", he became known for his amiability in his later television work.
Bruce Forsyth described him as "a natural at being natural".On 26 April 1976, while touring in The Mating Season, James suffered a heart attack while performing on stage at the Sunderland Empire Theatre; he died in hospital an hour later.
Some, including comedian Les Dawson, claim to have seen the ghost of James at the theatre, and subsequently refused to appear at the theatre again.