JAMES, SIDNEY (1913–1976), British actor. Born Sidney Joel Cohen in Johannesburg, the son of Jewish music hall entertainers, Sid James moved to London in 1946 and first acted on the London stage as a rough-hewn character in comedy roles. Subsequently, he appeared in more than 60 film productions. Among them were The Small Back Room (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), A King in New York (1957), The Story of Esther Costello (1957), and the Carry On series. James appeared in no fewer than 18 Carry On films, making him one of the most familiar character actors in the British cinema. He was also a popular figure in many radio and television programs, particularly with Tony Hancock.
ODNB online; C. Goodwin, Sid James: A Biography (1995); R. Ross, The Complete Sid James (2000).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.