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Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Carry On actress Joan Sims dead
Joan Sims and Kenneth Williams
Sims with Carry On co-star Kenneth Williams
Actress Joan Sims, known to millions for her roles in the Carry On movies - has died aged 71, her agent said on Thursday.

Everyone who knew her is going to remember her forever

Richard Hatton, agent
She played a variety of roles ranging from gym mistress to empress, and became famous for her characters' pretentions and mock-refined accents.

Barbara Windsor, who acted alongside her in eight Carry Ons, said: "To me she was the last of the great Carry Ons."

"She was there at the beginning," said Windsor, speaking from the set of EastEnders on Thursday.

"Her talent was wonderful, she could do any accent, dialect, she could dance, sing, play dowdy and glam.

"We laughed all the time and giggled a lot. I will sorely miss her."

Joan Sims was born on 9 May 1930 in Laindon, Essex, where her father was the stationmaster.

After graduating from RADA in 1950, she worked in repertory, and by the early 1950's was appearing in West End revue, in films and on television.

She showed her talent as a classical actress with spells at Bristol Old Vic and the Chichester Festival, making her first film Will Any Gentleman with George Cole in 1953.

She was soon established as one of the great comic performers of the cinema and television.

Joan Sims
Sims: The longest serving female member of the Carry On team
She starred more than two dozen Carry On films, making her the longest-serving female member of the team until she parted company with the team in 1978.

Later she concentrated on television, appearing in Worzel Gummidge as Mrs. Bloomsbury-Barton, Till Death Us Do Part as Gran, and On the Up as the eccentric housekeeper.

'Terrific talent'

"It's wonderful to be able to say that she really did have all the qualities that her many fans would have wished," said her agent Richard Hatton, "a great sense of humour, a sympathetic and endearing personality, terrific talent and consideration for others.

"Over and above this, she discovered a new side of herself when she wrote her autobiography last year, which was untypical for the genre - honest, frank and intelligent.

"Everyone who knew her is going to remember her forever," he said.

Her most recent movie was the BBC TV film Last Of The Blonde Bombshells in which she starred with Dame Judi Dench.

Joan Sims, who was unmarried, had been ill for some months.

The BBC's Jack Baine
"One of the great comic performers of cinema and television"
Robert Ross, author of The Carry On Companion
"She was a lovely lady"
See also:

28 Jun 01 | Film
Joan Sims: A life in pictures
21 Jun 01 | Film
Carry On Pinewood
22 Oct 98 | Education
The St Trinian's reunion
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