Actor

Cheer Up Best Film Carry On Cowboy
Best Character Dr Kilmore in Carry On Doctor
Silliest name Marshall P Knutt in Carry On Cowboy
Films 12 - Cabby, Jack, Spying, Cleo, Cowboy, Screaming, Don't Lose Your Head, Follow That Camel, Doctor, Again Doctor, That's, Columbus
Best Line  

 

Singer, songwriter, composer, stand-up comic, DJ, actor on stage and screen in everything from musical comedy to Shakespearean tragedy, Jim has done it all.  And having done it all in England, he went to the United States and did it all again to similar success.

Teas UpIn between doing TV shows and acting in Shakespeare at the Old Vic, he find time to do 10 Carry On films in 6 years.  His cheeky good looks and boyish demeanour helped him to portray a character who does all things wrong but wins through in the end, and he played this role in the majority of his Carry On films.  

Cabby, Jack and Spying see him in bit-part cameos; from the nerve-wracked expectant father; to the straw-chewing country bumpkin, sedan-chair carrier; to the more versatile Carstairs in Spying, popping up in an endless variety of disguises.  It is at this point that he becomes a fully-fledged Carry Oner with a specific role to play as opposed to simple cameos.

In the middle section of the films, Jim takes the reins from firstly, Terence Longden and then Bernard Cribbins for the romantic roles.  We have him pairing off against Anita Harris and Barbara Windsor in Doctor and Again Doctor respectively, playing a hapless, accident-prone medic who falls victim to the jealous machinations of the hospital hierarchy.  Through coincidence and luck, and the occasional spark of quick thinking, he manages to win the day and get the girl.  

Screaming, Cowboy and Follow That Camel have him pairing off with Angela Douglas with whom he has the best on-screen chemistry.  His bashful, bumbling innocence to her upper-class naivety always hits the mark.  In Screaming, Sergeant Bung is trying to identify the exact spot in the woods where Jim's girlfriend disappears, "You took her into the woods", he says, "How far did you go?"  "Not very far", Jim replies modestly, "'Cause I've only known her for a year".

His role in Cowboy is one of the high points in his Carry On career and he is stretched more so as an actor.  In his eagerness to clean up Stodge City's drain, he walks around failing to notice everyone treating him with greater respect than a sanitation engineer deserves.  The good citizens believe him to be a peace officer who has been dispatched to clean up their town.  When he finally realises the situation, we see the two sides of the coin with the eager hero versus the bumbling buffoon.  

Follow That Camel has him as the upper-class Bertram Oliphant West (or Bo to his friends), unjustly dishonoured on the cricket pitch, who leaves to join theWhat a hand full foreign legion.  We have Angela Douglas following him when she realises the mistake and with her usual air of innocence, doesn't realise the implications upon being asked, "Are you travelling alone?"

Dale was born on 15th August 1935 in Rothwell, Northants, England and  was hooked on show business when still at school, taking dancing lessons in his spare time and whilst working at a shoe factory, he was chosen as one of Carol Levy's Discoveries, a TV forerunner to talent shows like New Faces, and worked as a teenage stand-up comic.  He began to make a name for himself as a pop singer and TV personality, and his hosting of the 6.5 Special brought him instant fame.  The year of Carry On Screaming saw him make his Shakespearean debut as Autolycus in A Winter's Tale, in a highly acclaimed Edinburgh Festival and London production, for which he also wrote the music for the Shakespearean songs.

He also had song-writing successes in the late '60's writing lyrics for the film Georgie Girl, which was nominated for an Academy Award and also for the film Shalako, and all the songs for Twinkie.  He also hit number 2 in the charts for his recording of Be My Girl.

Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas were involved in some of his first films, namely The Iron Maiden and Raising the Wind and naturally there was a progression to the Carry Ons.  Whilst he was working on Doctor, he was appearing on stage in the evening in a pop version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Hwat's that smellHe has also starred in leading theatrical roles like The National Health for the Pop Theatre Group.  This was a forerunner to the Young Vic.  A change of direction came after playing many roles at the Young Vic, when he took a physically demanding role in Scapino, which he helped to adapt from the Mouliere original.  This was a major success in Los Angeles, San Francisco and on Broadway and earned him the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award.  

After completing Again Doctor, the offers poured in and he settled on a Disney studio option and this is where he completed Pete's Dragon, The Spaceman and King Arthur and Blood Shy, in which he plays three roles, twins and their father.  This was an energetic assignment bringing Jim's athleticism fully into play.  He did all his own stunts and was given the rare distinction of honourary membership of the Association of Hollywood Stuntmen. 

On Broadway, he has had successes with Barnum, Me And My Girl and Oliver, which he took to America after starring as Fagin on the London West End stage.

 

Filmography
 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB

Hunchback, The (TV)
American Clock, The (TV)
Lincoln (TV)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (TV)
Scandalous
Spaceman in King Arthur's Court, A
Hot Lead and Cold Feet
Pete's Dragon
Joseph Andrews
Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World

National Health, The
Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall
Lock Up Your Daughters!
Winter's Tale, The
Plank, The (TV)
Big Job, The
Nurse on Wheels
Iron Maiden, The
Raising the Wind
6.5 Special (TV)

 


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