During 1956–57, Sykes also wrote for and performed in The Tony Hancock Show, where he again worked with Hattie Jacques. This was followed by a supporting role in the MGM British comedy, Kill or Cure, starring Terry-Thomas with a cast of British comedy stalwarts including one of the first film appearances by Ronnie Barker. Eric Sykes CBE (4 May 1923 – 4 July 2012) was an English radio, stage, television and film writer, comedian, actor, and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. In 1985, he played the Mad Hatter in the Anglia Television serial adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, joining an all-star cast that included Michael Bentine, Leslie Crowther, and Leonard Rossiter, and he also had an uncredited role (as an arcade attendant) in the Julien Temple film musical Absolute Beginners (1986) which stars Patsy Kensit. Twenty-five of the original fifty-nine episodes have survived in the BBC archives. In 1984, Sykes played the Genie in the children's film Gabrielle and the Doodleman, which also featured Windsor Davies (who would also appear with Sykes in the BBC's Gormenghast in 2000), Bob Todd, Lynsey de Paul, and Gareth Hunt. The supporting cast included pop singer turned actor Kenny Lynch, Geoffrey Hughes, Norman Rossington, Sam Kydd, Jerrold Wells, and Fanny Carby as Arthur and Kevin's landlady.

Sykes had begun to write for television as early as 1948,[7] but from the early 1950s Sykes began to make an ultimately successful transition from radio to TV, writing a number of series episodes and one-off shows for the BBC. The other regular cast members were Deryck Guyler as local constable Wilfred "Corky" Turnbull and Richard Wattis as their snobbish, busybody neighbour Charles Brown. He also wrote the script for the 1977 Yorkshire Television adaptation of Charley's Aunt and appeared in the role of Brassett. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day. Looking for something to watch? Eric Sykes CBE (4 May 1923 – 4 July 2012) was an English radio, stage, television and film writer, comedian, actor, and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. The latter special, a remake of his 1969 short film Rhubarb which Sykes also directed, featured many of his old friends including Jimmy Edwards, Bob Todd, Charlie Drake, Bill Fraser, Roy Kinnear, Beryl Reid, and Norman Rossington.

In 1956, Sykes performed, wrote scripts, and acted as script editor for the pioneering Rediffusion TV comedy The Idiot Weekly, Price 2d, the first attempt to translate the humour of the Goons to television. Plus, see what some of your favorite '90s stars look like now. [19], In 1994, Sykes appeared in both episodes of Paul Merton's Palladium Story, a documentary series celebrating the history of the London Palladium. Sykes was born in Oldham in 1923. Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home. The following entries are films unless otherwise stated.

© estate of Bob Collins / National Portrait Gallery, London. Eric Sykes' two eldest daughters are Katherine Sykes (1952-) a film producer and Susan Sykes (1953-). In 1967, Sykes expanded one of his routines into a 45-minute wordless colour short, The Plank which features, among others, Sykes, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Edwards, Graham Stark, Hattie Jacques, and future Goodies star Bill Oddie. [21] In 1998, Sykes appeared in one episode of Dinnerladies as the father of Stan (Duncan Preston). Whilst preparing for one of these shows in 1945, Sykes, accompanied by Norden and Rich, went to a nearby prison camp in search of stage lighting; the camp turned out to be the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which had recently been liberated by the Allies.

The series provoked a storm of complaints about its liberal use of racist epithets and bad language (although Sykes refused to swear, as he did throughout his career). Eric Sykes, one of Britain's most-loved comic actors, died yesterday at the age of 89. Eric Sykes overcame an emotionally deprived childhood and an adulthood of disability to become one of Britain's leading comedy writers and performers. He underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1997, and suffered a stroke in 2002. Look right round a selection of sculptures in our Collection, Explore who is who in our group portraits, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HESwitchboard: +44 (0) 20 7306 0055, Find out more about the Inspiring People project, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE Sykes also made his first screen appearance at this time in the army film comedy Orders Are Orders (1954), which also featured Sid James, Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Bill Fraser, and Donald Pleasence.

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