15 August 1935
Rothwell, Northamptonshire, England, UK
|Occupation||Actor, lyricist, singer,
comedian, voice actor
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Dale (m. 1957–77) (divorced)
Julia Schafler (m. 1980)
Belinda Dale (deceased)
Jim Dale, MBE (born James Smith, 15 August 1935) is an English actor, voice artist, singer and songwriter. He is best known in the United Kingdom for his many appearances in the Carry On series of films and in the US for narrating the Harry Potter audiobook series, for which he received two Grammy Awards, and the ABC series Pushing Daisies. In the 1970s, Dale was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company.
Dale was born to William Henry Smith and Miriam Jean Wells in Rothwell, Northamptonshire. He was educated at the Kettering Grammar School. He trained as a dancer for six years before his debut as a stage comic in 1951, when, at the age of seventeen and a half, he became the youngest professional comedian on the British stage. He performed two years' national service in the Royal Air Force.
Dale has lived in New York City since 1980. He was married to Patricia from 1957 until their divorce in 1977. They had four children. The eldest boy, Murray Dale, was briefly a successful actor in the 1970s British children's television series Boy Dominic. Middle son Adam, a successful aerial cameraman, is the winner of the Golden Arrow Award for Best Helicopter Cameraman. His youngest son Toby Dale is, in his father's words, "a brilliant actor". All three sons live in London. Dale has five grandchildren. His only daughter, Belinda Dale, died of leukaemia in December 1995. His first wife, Patricia, died in March 1977, after a long battle with cancer. In 1980, Dale married Julie Schafler, the owner of Madison Avenue's 'Julie: Artisan's Gallery'.
As a songwriter, Dale is best remembered as the lyricist for the film theme "Georgy Girl", which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1966. The song (performed by the Seekers) reached number 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart the following year, and sold over seven million records. He is a gifted songwriter who also wrote lyrics for the title song of the films Shalako, Joseph Andrews, Twinky ("Lola" in the United States) and A Winter's Tale.
At the age of twenty-two he became the first pop singer under the wing of Sir George Martin, who produced all his hit records for him. Several of his songs entered the UK Singles Chart, including "Be My Girl" (1957, UK No.2), "Just Born (To Be My Baby)" (1958, UK No.27), "Crazy Dream" (1958, UK No.24) and "Sugartime" (1958, UK No.25). In 1957, he was one of the presenters on BBC Television's Six-Five Special. Dale also wrote and recorded the song "Dick-a-Dum-Dum (King's Road)", which became a hit for Des O'Connor in 1969.
Dale's film debut was a tiny role as a trombone player who thwarts orchestral conductor Kenneth Williams in the comedy Raising the Wind (1961). However, he is most famous in Britain for his appearances in eleven Carry On films, a long-running series of comedy farces, generally playing the hapless romantic lead. His 'Carry On' career began as an expectant father in Carry On Cabby (1963), and was followed by Carry On Jack (1963), Carry On Spying (1964), Carry On Cleo (1964) and Carry On Cowboy (1965) - where he played a character called Marshall P Knutt. Then came Don't Lose Your Head (1966), Follow That Camel (1967), Carry On Screaming (1966), and the famous Carry On Doctor (1967). His last 'Carry On' appearance in the main series was in Carry On Again Doctor in 1969, where he broke his arm during filming, as he preferred to do his own stunts. However 23 years later he appeared in the title role in the 1992 'Carry On' film, Carry On Columbus.
He was in the silent short 1967 film The Plank, and played the young Spike Milligan in the film version of Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall. Pete's Dragon (1977) is a live-action/animated musical film from Walt Disney Productions, in which he played a travelling elixir showman/salesman named Doc Terminus. He starred in Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World, which also featured Milligan, The National Health directed by Jack Gold, and appeared in the 1984 film Scandalous. He also had a triple-role as twin brothers and their father in Disney's Hot Lead and Cold Feet, The Hunchback, as a tap dancing executive in Arthur Miller's 1993 The American Clock and as a comic villain in the 1977 Disney films Pete's Dragon and The Spaceman and King Arthur aka Unidentified Flying Oddball.
At the age of eighteen Dale became the youngest professional comedian in Britain, touring all the variety music halls. On stage he appeared in both straight and musical roles, and has been nominated for five Tony Awards, winning one for Barnum when, in 1980, the New York Times cited him as "The Toast of Broadway", also winning the second of four Drama Desk Awards. In 2006, Dale performed on Broadway (at Studio 54) in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of The Threepenny Opera, as Mr. Peachum. In 1970, at the request of Laurence Olivier, he joined the National Theatre in London as a leading actor. Over the next two years he appeared in Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, The National Health, The Good Natured Man, The Captain of Kopenick, and a two-hander play with Anthony Hopkins, The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria. At the Young Vic Theatre, he created the title role in Scapino, which he co-adapted with Frank Dunlop, and played Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew. His other West End theatre credits include The Wayward Way, The Card, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale, and most recently the part of Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! at the London Palladium.
His Broadway successes include Scapino (Drama Desk Award/Outer Critics Award/Tony Award Nomination), Joe Egg (Outer Critics Award /Tony Award Nomination). Me And My Girl and Candide (Tony Award Nomination). Other credits Off-Broadway include Travels With My Aunt (Drama Desk Award/Lucille Lortel Award/Outer Critics Award), Privates On Parade, The Taming of the Shrew, The Invisible Man, The Music Man, Comedians (Drama Desk Award nomination and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination), A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Address Unknown and The Threepenny Opera (Drama Desk Award/Outer Critics' Award/The Richard Seff Award and a Tony Award nomination). In November, 2006 Dale starred as "Charlie Baxter" in the Sherman Brothers' musical, Busker Alley alongside Glenn Close. His latest work, seen in 2011, is a one-man show, Just Jim Dale, looking back over nearly sixty years in show business.
- Huckleberry Finn - for PBS
- The American Clock - by Arthur Miller
- The Bill Cosby Show
- The Ellen Burstyn Show
- The Dinah Shore Show
- Sunday Night at the London Palladium - (Host)
- Six-Five Special - (Host)
- Thank Your Lucky Stars - (Host)
- Meet Jim Dale - ATV London
- The Jim Dale Show - ATV London
- Pushing Daisies - (Narrator) ABC TV.
To millions of fans in the United States, Jim Dale is the "voice" of Harry Potter. He has recorded all seven books in the Harry Potter series, and as a narrator he has won two Grammy Awards, seven Grammy Nominations and a record ten Audie Awards including "Audio Book of the Year 2004," "Best Children's Narrator 2001/2005/2007/2008," "Best Children's Audio Book 2005," two Benjamin Franklin Awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association (one of these was in 2001 for Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban) and twenty three Audio File Earphone Awards. He is also the narrator for the Harry Potter video games, and for many of the interactive "extras" on the Harry Potter DVD releases. He also holds two Guinness World Records: one for having created and recorded 146 different character voices for one audiobook, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and one for occupying the first six places in the Top Ten Audio Books of America and Canada 2005.
He also narrated the Peter and the Starcatchers audio book, and its three sequels.
In December, 2009, for their annual birthday celebration to "The Master", The Noel Coward Society invited Dale as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward's statue at New York's Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 110th birthday of Sir Noel.
- Nurse on Wheels (1963)
- Carry On Cabby (1963)
- Carry On Jack (1963)
- Carry On Spying (1964)
- Carry On Cleo (1964)
- The Big Job (1965)
- Carry On Cowboy (1966)
- Carry On Screaming! (1966)
- Don't Lose Your Head (1966)
- Carry On Doctor (1967)
- Follow That Camel (1967)
- Lock Up Your Daughters (1969)
- Carry On Again Doctor (1969)
- The Plank (1967)
- Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973)
- The National Health (1973)
- Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall (1974)
- Pete's Dragon (1977)
- Joseph Andrews (1977)
- Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)
- Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979)
- Scandalous (1984)
- Carry On Columbus (1992)
Awards and nominations
- 1966 International Laurel Award - Best Song - Georgy Girl
- 1974 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Performance - Scapino
- 1974 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding Actor - Scapino
- 1980 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Barnum
- 1980 Tony Award - Best Actor in a Musical - Barnum
- 1984 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding Actor - Joe Egg
- 1995 Drama Desk Award - Unique Theatrical Ensemble Experience - Travels With My Aunt
- 1995 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding Actor - Travels With My Aunt
- 2001 Grammy Award - Best Spoken Word Album for Children - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- 2001 Audie Award - Narrator of the Year - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- 2004 Audie Award - Audiobook of the year - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- 2004 Audie Award - Children's Male Narrator of the Year - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- 2005 Audie Award - Classic Narrator - A Christmas Carol
- 2005 Audie Award - Male Narrator of the Year - Peter and the Star Catchers
- 2005 Audie Award - Children's Narrator - Peter and the Starcatchers
- 2006 Thespian Award - Friars Club, New York.
- 2006 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical - The Threepenny Opera
- 2006 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding Actor - The Threepenny Opera
- 2006 The Richard Seff Award - The Threepenny Opera
- 2006 The Order of St. George's Society, New York
- 2007 Audie Award - Male Narrator of the Year - Peter and the Shadow Thieves
- 2008 Audie Award - Solo Narrator - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- 2008 Grammy Award - Best Spoken Word Album for Children - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- 2009 Audie Award - Children's male Narrator of the Year - James Herriot's Treasury For Children
- Twenty three Audiofile Headphone Awards
- 2009 - Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
- 1967 Academy Award - Best Music, Original Song - Georgy Girl (shared with Tom Springfield for the song "Georgy Girl")
- 1967 Golden Globe Award - Best Music, Original Song - Georgy Girl (shared with Tom Springfield for the song "Georgy Girl")
- 1974 BAFTA Academy Award - Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles - Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall
- 1975 Tony Award - Best Actor in Play - Scapino
- 1985 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Actor in a Play - Joe Egg
- 1985 Tony Award - Best Actor in Play - Joe Egg
- 1997 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Candide
- 1997 Tony Award - Best Actor in a Musical - Candide
- 2003 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Actor in a Play - Comedians
- 2006 Tony Award - Best Featured Actor in a Musical - The Threepenny Opera
- Olivier at Work, ed. Lyn Haill, (1989), p 103
- "Jim Dale Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
- "British Film Institute ScreenOnline".
- "Macmillan Books' Jim Dale biography". Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 138. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 403. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Benjamin Franklin Award Winners & Finalists 2001, Independent Book Publishers Association (accessed 1 August 2009)
- Jim Dale Home Page
- Official website
- Jim Dale at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jim Dale at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Jim Dale at the Internet Movie Database
- Jim Dale at Carry On Online
- Jim Dale at Aveleyman