Jim Dale

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Jim Dale
DaleClose.jpg
Dale with his Barnum co-star Glenn Close performing Busker Alley, 2006
Born James Smith
(1935-08-15) 15 August 1935 (age 78)
Rothwell, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Occupation Actor, lyricist, singer, comedian, voice actor
Years active 1951–present
Website
Official site

Jim Dale, MBE (born 15 August 1935) is an English-American actor, voice artist, and singer-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 the National Theatre Company.[1]

Early life[edit]

Dale was born James Smith to William Henry and Miriam Jean (née Wells) Smith in Rothwell, Northamptonshire.[2] 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.[3]

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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).[5]

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.[6]

Film[edit]

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,[3] 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 Carry On Doctor (1967).[citation needed]. He played Dr. Terminus in Walt Disney's Pete's Dragon (1977) He was the star of the Walt Disney comedy movie Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978).

Stage[edit]

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. 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Television[edit]

Voice work[edit]

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)[7] and twenty three Audio File Earphone Awards.

He narrates 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 134 different character voices for one audiobook, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and one for occupying the first six places in the Top Ten Audio Books of America and Canada 2005. [8] Dale opened every episode of the ABC drama Pushing Daisies as the unseen narrator.

In the early 1960s, Dale presented Children's Favourites on BBC Radio, for a year. He narrated Peter and the Starcatchers' audio book, and its three sequels. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II honoured Dale with the MBE, for his work in promoting English literature for children. In December 2009, for their annual birthday celebration to Noël Coward, the eponymous Noël Coward Society invited Dale to be the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward's statue at New York City's Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, thus commemorating Coward's 110th birthday.[citation needed]

Naturalized United States citizen[edit]

American gossip columnist Cindy Adams reported in the February 26, 2014 edition of The New York Post that Dale told her:

"Listen, I live here 34 years, been a US citizen 5 years, but age 9 I started in small-town British music halls touring 52 weeks a year. I've done shows all my life."[9]

Selected filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards
  • 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 Theater Hall of Fame.[10]
Nominations
  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Olivier at Work, ed. Lyn Haill, (1989), p 103
  2. ^ "Jim Dale Film Reference profile". filmreference.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  3. ^ a b c "BFI ScreenOnline". 
  4. ^ "Macmillan Books' Jim Dale biography". Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 138. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Ltd. p. 403. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ Benjamin Franklin Award Winners & Finalists 2001, Independent Book Publishers Association (accessed 1 August 2009)
  8. ^ Macmillan Publishers. "Jim Dale". Macmillian Publishers. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "'Just Jim Dale' is just that", New York Post, February 26, 2014, pg. 14.
  10. ^ Dale inducted into American Theatre Hall of Fame, Playbill.com; accessed 26 February 2014.

External links[edit]