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Jim Tavaré (//; born 1963) is an English comedian, actor and musician. He is best known for his work on The Sketch Show on ITV which won a BAFTA award and also played the role of Tom, the owner of the Leaky Cauldron, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Life and career
He then moved to London, where he was taken under the wing of Corin Redgrave who coached him in acting. As a result, he successfully auditioned for and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, RADA.
He branched out into stand-up comedy with a unique act which featured his double bass – an instrument he had learned to play during his childhood. He always donned tails and a white tie outfit – the uniform of the classical musician – when performing his act, though he only played the bass in short bursts for comic effect.
Tavaré's first film appearance was as a student in Another Country (1984) with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth. Although uncredited, he was a featured extra appearing in numerous scenes throughout the film. Tavaré was Colin Firth's stand-in for the duration of the film. Charles Spencer, Diana, Princess of Wales's brother, was also an uncredited extra.
After many years working the stand-up circuit and making fleeting television appearances as a guest comic, Tavaré wrote and starred in a series of short, silent films for BBC2 titled Jim Tavaré Pictures Presents... . He also had a skit series of his own on Channel Five, co-written with Ricky Gervais, called The Jim Tavaré Show.
He appeared three times in the Royal Variety Performance and subsequently worked for Prince Charles for several private engagements, including a private Christmas party for Prince Charles and a gala held at Highgrove in front of Her Majesty the Queen and thirteen crowned heads of state. He became renowned in the UK as Prince Charles's favourite comedian.
Following an appearance at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival, CBS commissioned a special episode of the American series Wings based on and written entirely around his comedy act. Tavaré starred in this episode, which was called "Take My Life Please".
Tavaré co-wrote and appeared in the BAFTA-winning ITV series The Sketch Show, alongside Lee Mack, Tim Vine, Ronni Ancona and Karen Taylor. The Sketch Show went on to syndicate worldwide, and to date[when?] has been remade for audiences in eight different countries.
In 2008 he was a finalist on Last Comic Standing 6 and the only overseas act ever to have reached the final show. On 31 July he was voted into the top five. He finished in fourth place. He performed a 63-date national tour with the other four Last Comic Standing finalists throughout the USA.
He is a regular headliner at the Laugh Factory, in Hollywood, California, USA.
He appears in the fifth season of the David Duchovny comedy-drama Californication, as an English butler to a hip-hop mogul played by Wu Tang Clan frontman RZA. He makes a guest star appearance in season 5 of the NBC/Warner Bros comedy, spy drama Chuck, CBS TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live! and on Comedy Central's Tosh.0
He appears in several music videos: Roots Manuva – "Too Cold"; McFly – "It's All About You" (for BBC Comic Relief); Phoenix Foundation – "Thames Soup"; Letlive – "Banshee"; Joel Compass – "Back to Me".
Family and personal life
He has two children and currently resides in Hollywood, California with his wife, Laura.
- Sit-Down Comedy (contributor to anthology, ed. Malcolm Hardee & John Fleming) Ebury Press/Random House, 2003. ISBN 0-09-188924-3; ISBN 978-0-09-188924-1