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

Early life

John was born at 104 King Street, Stretfordmarker, one of five children of Mary & Thomas Comer. He was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church at St Ann's, Stretfordmarker, and educated at the Parish School between 1928 and 1939. He began his working career as a bevin boy working in the pits. He later gained an engineering apprenticeship at Metropolitan Vickers, Trafford Park. St Ann's Stretford Parish Magazine, Christmas 2007, Pg14, The Comer Brothers

Early career

John began his career performing a comedy routine around local social clubs and pubs in the 1930s and 40s. In 1952, he and his younger brother Tony Comer 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 Apollomarker performing a variety act entitled Comer's Cottage

In 1958, The Comer Brothers partook in an ITV talent show called 'Bid For Fame' and also began working for Butlins and in 1959 won first prize in the Butlins National Talent Contest, winning £1000 and a film contract with The Boulting Brothers

Fame and Success

In 1959 the Boulting Brothers cast John and Tony Comer in the film I'm All Right Jack where they starred alongside Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough as Union Shop Stewards. Their next film roles were in 1961 when they starred 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.

In was in 1973 that John finally became a household name when he gained the role of Sid in the new BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine in which he became the show's primary supporting character. He also starred in a long running advertising campaign for Home Brew Beer..

1977 saw John appear as Bill Malley in the BBC series "Murder Most English".

Death

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, Blackpoolmarker, where he is commemorated at rose-bed no. 18.

Film Roles

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 Rotton to the Core
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

Year Title Role
1973 Bless This House The Landlord
1972 to 1974 Play For Today Various
1973 All Our Saturdays Wilf
1973 to 1983 Last of the Summer Wine Sid
1975 The Life of Riley George Pollitt
1975 to 1979 I Didn't Know You Cared Les Brandon


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