The star of the British comedy film series Carry On, Jim Dale (born: James Smith) has been equally successful with music. His tune "Georgy Girl," co-written with Tom Springfield, received an Oscar nomination in 1966 and became a major international hit for British singing group the Seekers. The son of a foundry worker, Dale moved to London, from the midlands in his early teens. Training as a dancer, he developed the skills that later helped to make him one of England's best-loved performers. Launching his career as a standup comic on the northern club circuit, he began appearing in London music halls by 1953. An early routine, which had him portraying a military resister dragged off the stage by military police, resulted in him being subject to 14 months, rather then eight weeks, of basic service after he enlisted in the RAF. An opportunity to organize and perform camp shows enabled him to sharpen his talents as a performer. Returning to comedy following his military discharge, Dale worked as a warm-up man for a popular television variety show, 65 Special, before being invited to become a full-fledged cast member as a singer. Making his film debut in 1963 in a cameo role in the movie, Carry on Cabby, Dale took the romantic lead in the 1965 flick Carry on Cleo. He went on to star in three additional Carry On films -- Carry on Doctor and Carry on Again, Doctor in 1967, and Carry on Columbus in 1992. He also appeared in Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, portraying Goon Show comedian Spike Milligan, in 1972, and Pete's Dragon, as Dr. Terminus in 1977. Extremely acrobatic, Dale performed most stunts by himself. Moving to the United States to work in film and stage productions, in the early '70s, he starred in the original Broadway production of Barnum. Although he attempted to resurrect the role when the show was staged in London's West End, he lost the part to Michael Crawford. Although he continues to reside in the United States, Dale has continued to return to his homeland for special projects. He starred in the last Carry On film, Carry on Columbus, in 1992 and portrayed Fagin in a London revival of Oliver!. Dale's most recent work has been as narrator of four audio books based on author J.K. Rowling's Harry Porter series.
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