Actress

Queen Marie Best Film Carry On Up the Khyber
Best Character Chloe Gibson in Carry On Doctor
Silliest name Policewoman Gloria Passworthy in Carry On Constable
Films 25 - Nurse, Teacher, Constable, Regardless, Cleo, Cowboy, Screaming, Don't Lose Your Head, Follow That Camel, Doctor, Up The Khyber, Again Doctor, Camping, Up the Jungle, Loving, Henry, At Your Convenience, Abroad, Matron, Girls, Dick, Behind, England, That'sEmmannuelle
Best Line In response to Big Dick taking here necklace in Carry On Dick, she replies in a Cockney voice, "I told you it was my only means of support."


Joan Sims’ Carry On career has, perhaps, taken her through the largest variety of roles in the series. She goes from an object of desire in Constable through to a nagging old mother-in-law in Behind, and along the way will play varying degrees of these personas in her characters, for example in Cleo she is Caesar’s moaning sister, but then her next film, Cowboy see her as the sultry Belle.

Her skill, which she shares with Kenneth Williams, of speaking posh one minute and common the next is never better demonstrated than the scene in Dick where she switches from a posh French accent to saying, in a common Cockney voice "I told you it was my only means of support!" Another example of this satirising is in Regardless where she is asked by the pompous organiser, "Are you a lover of the grape?" To which she replies in a genteel voice, "Actually, no" and then sliding gradually into Cockney, "I never know what to do with the pips – you know, flick away, collect in the palm of the your hand or spit!" SheJoany then goes on to become outrageously drunk.

Her portrayal of Marie of Normandy is in a class of its own. Her French accent and regal dignity is commanding and totally self-indulgent and you can believe her character. Her role with Frankie Howerd in Doctor is altogether more downbeat but for that, this shows her competence as an actress. Her normal bubbling persona is completely submerged in a dour portrait of a down-trodden disciple to Mr Bigger. Even her one moment of joy in the film, a proposal of marriage, which through comic misunderstanding, he only offers because he thinks he is going to die, is very un-Carry On-like for her character.

Joan was born in 9th May 1930 in Laindon, Essex, being a shy, diffident child, she played out her fantasies by dressing up as other people. Mimicking Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable and other films stars of that era, she entertained the railway workers and passengers alighting at Laindon where her father was the Station Master. She gained a coveted place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts at her fourth attempt after working first in the local youth drama group and then moving into repertory in Manchester’s Salisbury Art Theatre, playing Principal Boy. She made her West End debut in the revue Intimacy of Eight at the Irving Theatre and enjoyed several leading roles in the Brian Rix farces at the Aldwych Theatre.

She frequently flunked her auditions due to extreme nervousness and her first film role with George Cole in Will Any Gentleman? was offered to her by a Casting Director who had previously turned her down at an audition but had then spotted her afresh in a revue. She always hated the auditions and one of the fruits of success she now enjoys is that she no longer has to do them. "Nowadays," she told an interviewer, "They just send for Sims". Other screen roles she was good in are Dry Rot, Doctor In Love and the Belle Of St Trinians, but her career really started with the Carry Ons.

Who's watchingJoan Sims was never sure of herself, even at the height of her success and was no stranger to loneliness and sadness in real life and she had something of a Pierrot-like clown within her. She never married, not because she didnít want to, nor indeed through lack of opportunity but because the right person never came along

She was very close to her mother and also to Hattie Jacques who was her dearest friend and helped her through many crises. She reached a personal low in her life when her mother, Hattie and her long standing mentor and manager, Peter Eade all died within a few years of each other. But she still has time and strength to give to other people, like Sally Geeson who has become a confidant and friend.

Her TV work has included children’s programmes, a sparkling performance in the Restoration play, The Way Of The World and was also indulged in sitcoms like On The Up.

Joan Sims kept herself to herself towards the end of her life, spurning all publicity, but had time to finish autobiography, High Spirits, shortly before she died. Joan died on June 28, 2001 (age 71) in Chelsea, London, England after a long illness.

 

Filmography
 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB

Canterville Ghost, The (TV)
"Martin Chuzzlewit (TV)
"As Time Goes By (TV)
Cluedo (TV)
On the Up (TV)
Simon and the Witc
h (TV)
Farrington of the F.
O (TV)
Murder Is Announced, A (TV)
Deceptions (TV)
Waters of the Moon (TV)
Worzel Gummidg
e (TV)
Born and Bre
d (TV)
One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing
Love Among the Ruins (TV)
Lord Tramp (TV)
Cobblers of Umbridge, The
Don't Just Lie There, Say Something
Not Now Darling
Sykes (TV)
Alf Garnett Saga, The
Christmas Carol, A (Voice)
Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins, The
Doctor in Trouble
Sam and Janet (TV)
Doctor in Clover
San Ferry Ann
Till Death Us Do Part (TV)
Big Job, The
Nurse on Wheels
Pair of Briefs, A
Iron Maiden, The

Twice Round the Daffodils
His and Hers
Mr. Topaze
No My Darling Daughter
Doctor in Love
Our House (TV)
Watch Your Stern
Captain's Table, The
Life in Emergency Ward 10
Please Turn Over
Upstairs and Downstairs
Passport to Shame
Carry On Admiral
Davy
Just My Luck
Naked Truth, The
No Time for Tears
Silken Affair, The
Dry Rot
Keep It Clean
Stars in Your Eyes
As Long as They're Happy
Doctor at Sea
Lost
Belles of St. Trinian's, The
Doctor in the House
Sea Shall Not Have Them, The
To Dorothy a Son
Will Any Gentleman?
Meet Mr. Lucifer
Square Ring, The
Trouble in Store
Colonel March Investigates

 


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