John Comer

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John Comer
Ivy+Sid6635.jpg
John Comer as Sid with Jane Freeman as Ivy in
Last of the Summer Wine
Born (1924-03-01)1 March 1924
Stretford, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 11 February 1984(1984-02-11) (aged 59)

John Comer (1 March 1924 – 11 February 1984) was a British comedic actor. He starred in the television series I Didn't Know You Cared, Last of the Summer Wine and All Our Saturdays.

Early life[edit]

The son of Mary and Thomas Comer, he was born at 104 King Street, Stretford, Lancashire, one of five children. He was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church at St Ann's, Stretford, and educated at the parish school between 1928 and 1939. Comer began his working career as a Bevin Boy working in the pits.[citation needed] He later gained an engineering apprenticeship at Metropolitan-Vickers, Trafford Park.[1]

Early career[edit]

Comer began his career performing a comedy routine around local social clubs and pubs in the 1930s and '40s. In 1952, with his younger brother Tony, he performed in a children's theatre production for local schools in Stretford and the siblings then formed a double act named The Comer Brothers. In 1957 the brothers began a regular slot at the Manchester Apollo, performing a variety act entitled Comer's Cottage

In 1958 the Comer Brothers participated in an ITV talent show called Bid For Fame and began working for Butlin's. In 1959 they won first prize in the Butlin's National Talent Contest, winning £1,000 and a film contract with the Boulting Brothers.[1]

Success[edit]

In 1959 the Boulting Brothers cast John and Tony Comer in the film I'm All Right Jack, in which they starred alongside Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough as trade union shop stewards. Their next film roles were in 1961, when they featured alongside Rita Tushingham in A Taste of Honey. However shortly afterwards Tony decided to leave showbusiness and returned to full-time work at Metropolitan-Vickers, while John decided to continue pursuing his film career. He appeared in the Boulting Brothers' 1967 film The Family Way as a father-of-the-bride to Hayley Mills's character, whose father John Mills portrayed her father-in-law.

He gained a recurring role in 1973 as the primary supporting role of Sid in the new BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. He also starred in a long-running advertising campaign for Home Brew Beer.[1] 1977 saw him appear as Bill Malley in the BBC series "Murder Most English".

Death[edit]

On 11 February 1984 Comer died of throat cancer at the age of 59. The disease had so affected his voice that in his final television appearance, as cafe owner Sid, in the Last of the Summer Wine Christmas film Getting Sam Home, his lines had to be dubbed by another actor, Tony Melody. His funeral was held at Carleton Crematorium, Blackpool, where he is commemorated at rose-bed no. 18.

Film roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1959 I'm Alright Jack Union Shop Steward
1960 Hell Is a City Police Driver
1961 A Taste of Honey
1963 Heavens Above! Butcher
1964 Allez France!
1965 Rotten to the Core Police Sergeant
1966 The Family Way Leslie Piper
1968 Happy Deathday Briggs
1969 Battle of Britain Policeman
1970 Wuthering Heights
1970 There's a Girl in My Soup John
1971 Mr. Forbush and the Penguins Police Sergeant
1971 Villain Waiter
1973 The Lovers! Geoffrey's Dad

Television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1962-63 Coronation Street Mr. Birtles
1965 Coronation Street Taxi Driver
1966 Pardon the Expression Policeman
1967 Turn out the Lights Policeman
1968 Coronation Street Wilf Jones
1973 Bless This House The Landlord
1972-74 Play For Today Various
1973 All Our Saturdays Wilf
1973-83 Last of the Summer Wine Sid
1975 The Life of Riley George Pollitt
1975-79 I Didn't Know You Cared Les Brandon
1976-78 Potter's Picture Palace Sidney Bogart
1977 Murder Most English Recurring role as a police sergeant
1977 Survivors Les Norton
1978 All Creatures Great and Small Mr. Dimmock

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c St Ann's Stretford Parish Magazine, Christmas 2007, Pg14, The Comer Brothers

External links[edit]