Jimmy Thompson (actor)

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James Edward "Jimmy" Thompson (30 October 1925 – 21 April 2005) was an English actor, writer and director.

He was born in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire and educated at St. Peter’s School in York. As a young man he began his career in repertory theatre in Yorkshire and he toured with a theatrical company headed by Jean Forbes-Robertson.[1]

After his national service, he moved to London, and his early appearances on the West End stage were in intimate revue.[1]

In 1956, he became known for his impersonation of the American pianist and entertainer, Liberace, in the revue, For Amusement Only, at the Apollo Theatre. Thompson was called in the 1959 libel action brought by the pianist against the Daily Mirror, and was himself subsequently sued by Liberace. Thompson settled out of court, making a donation to an actors’ charity.[1]

In 1959, he and his wife, Nina,[2] co-authored a musical comedy, The Quiz Kid, which was presented at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. In 1964, he starred in Monsieur Blaise at the Royal Court and Phoenix theatres, a play adapted by his wife from the Claude Magnier farce. In 1974, Thompson starred in The Englishman Amused at the Young Vic, a production which again he co-wrote with his wife. In 1992, he was once more in revue, appearing at the Whitehall Theatre in Spread a Little Happiness, the Vivian Ellis musical.[1] In the 1960s, Thompson appeared regularly in the BBC television programme, Pinky and Perky, created by Jan and Vlasta Dalibor. In 1967, he starred in the title role in the first BBC2 play in colour, Lieutenant Tenant. Other television appearances included The Benny Hill Show (1970) and George and Mildred (1978).[1]

His film appearances included Carry On Regardless (1961), Carry On Cruising (1962) and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965).[2]

His directorial credits included directing Simon Ward in Perchance to Dream, Patrick Cargill in Don’t Misunderstand Me, Mollie Sugden in My Giddy Aunt, Windsor Davies in My Wife Whatsername, Peggy Mount in Blithe Spirit, and the original production of Jeeves Takes Charge with Edward Duke.[2]

After the death of his wife in 1999, he retired to York where he died in 2005.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Shorter, Eric. "Obituary: Jimmy Thompson."". London: The Guardian, June 6, 2005. 2005-06-06. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Jimmy Thompson". The Stage, May 31, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 

External links[edit]