Sunday, May 9, 2010
Remembering Joan Sims
Irene Joan Marian Sims was born on May 9, 1930 in Laindon, England. Her father was the station master at the local railway station. Her interest in acting came early as she would often entertain passengers waiting at the railroad station. She acted in local productions as a teenager and applied for enrollment at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) but was unsuccessful. She was admitted to PARADA the RADA preparatory school. She eventually attended RADA and graduated at the age of 19. Joan then appeared in several plays and revues but becoming board with theater performances switched to film work. Her first film appearance was in “Will Any Gentleman?” (1953). In 1954 she made a cameo appearance in “Doctor in the House” with Dirk Bogarde and became a regular in the film series. In 1958 she received an offer to appear in the second “Carry On” film “Carry on Nurse”. She accepted the role of Stella Dawson a student nurse. She then became a regular in that film series, including it's only western “Carry on Cowboy” (1966 in the role Belle Armitage). When the film series ended in 1978 she continued to appear on TV and occasionally in films. Joan fought depression, Bell's palsy, a broken hip in 2000, and alcoholism. She entered London's Kensington & Chelsea Hospital in November 2000 for a routine operation but fell into a coma. She died on June 28, 2001 of what was reported as liver failure, diabetes and Diverticular disease. Joan never married because according to her, “The right person never came along.” Today we remember Joan Sims on what would have been her 80th birthday.