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Dale, Jim (1935-)

Actor, Singer

Main image of Dale, Jim (1935-)

Born in Rothwell, Northamptonshire, on 15 August 1935, Jim Dale trained for ballet before debut as a stage comedian in 1951, and also enjoyed some success as a pop singer. Wonderfully droll on stage in such diverse plays as The National Health and The Merchant of Venice (both Old Vic, 1970), tall, cheerful Dale has never quite had roles that give him enough scope on screen.

He appeared in eleven 'Carry On' capers, but, funny as he is there, he is almost too subtle to make his presence felt among all those bold farceurs, though he is the only pleasure on hand in the series' finale, Carry On Columbus (d. Gerald Thomas, 1992), in the title role.

His best screen chances in Britain were probably in the little-seen adaptation of The National Health (d. Jack Gold, 1973) and as Spike Milligan in Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall (d. Norman Cohen, 1972). He became popular in such Disney films as Pete's Dragon (US, d. Don Chaffey, 1977), won a Tony for the title role in Barnum on Broadway, and wrote the Oscar-nominated lyrics for the title song for Georgy Girl (d. Silvio Narizzano, 1966).

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Carry On Cleo (1964)Carry On Cleo (1964)

Comedy in which two British slaves end up in Ancient Rome and Egypt

Thumbnail image of Carry On Cowboy (1965)Carry On Cowboy (1965)

Western parody: a hapless Marshall attempts to clean us Stodge City

Thumbnail image of Carry On Doctor (1968)Carry On Doctor (1968)

Frankie Howerd joins the team on its second tour of the wards

Thumbnail image of Carry On Screaming! (1966)Carry On Screaming! (1966)

The Carry On team take on Hammer in this spoof horror comedy

Thumbnail image of Carry On Spying (1964)Carry On Spying (1964)

The Carry On team take on James Bond in this frenetic spy spoof

Thumbnail image of Six-Five Special (1957-58)Six-Five Special (1957-58)

Early pop music show featuring the latest swing, rock 'n' roll and skiffle

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