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1 March 1924|
Stretford, Lancashire, England, UK
|Died||11 February 1984(aged 59)|
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. He later gained an engineering apprenticeship at Metropolitan-Vickers, Trafford Park.
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.
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. 1977 saw him appear as Bill Malley in the BBC series "Murder Most English".
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.
|1959||I'm Alright Jack||Union Shop Steward|
|1960||Hell Is a City||Police Driver|
|1961||A Taste of Honey|
|1965||Rotten to the Core||Police Sergeant|
|1966||The Family Way||Leslie Piper|
|1969||Battle of Britain||Policeman|
|1970||There's a Girl in My Soup||John|
|1971||Mr. Forbush and the Penguins||Police Sergeant|
|1973||The Lovers!||Geoffrey's Dad|
|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|
|1978||All Creatures Great and Small||Mr. Dimmock|
- St Ann's Stretford Parish Magazine, Christmas 2007, Pg14, The Comer Brothers