Sam Kydd

Sam Kydd

Sam Kydd (born February 15, 1915, in Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) - March 26, 1982) was an actor.

An Army officer's son - Kydd was born in Belfast, but moved to England when he was a child. He was educated at Dunstable Grammar School in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. In his twenties, he looked for all round entertainment jobs, such as MC for the Oscar Rabin Band.

Early in WWII, he went to France with the British Expeditionary Force but was quickly captured, spending the rest of the war in Stalag XX-A, a camp near Thorn in German-occupied western Poland. [ Letter and photo in camp magazine 1942 [] ] After the war he wrote a book about his experience. [ "For You The War Is Over" by Sam Kydd - Futura, London, 1974. ISBN 0-85974-005-6 ]

During his internment in the Polish prisoner of war camp, where, for the next five years, he took command of the camp's theatrical activities - devising and staging plays. He felt so strongly about his work there that, when he was offered repatriation after three years, he turned it down to continue with his theatrical work. In recognition of his valuable services during these years, he was a awarded a pair of drama masks made by the Red Cross from barbed wire.

Returning to Britain after the War, Kydd resumed a budding film career, which had started back in 1940 with "They Came by Night". He went on to appear in many more films, including such memorable movies as "The Blue Lamp", "Father Brown", "The Thirty Nine Steps" and "I'm Alright Jack". He often played the part of a strong and resilient cockney. He is best remembered as a character actor in films such as "The Cruel Sea", "Sink the Bismarck", "Too Late the Hero", "The Yangste Incident", "Reach for the Sky", "Eye of the Needle" and "Steptoe and Son Ride Again".

He married Pinkie Barnes an ex-international tennis champion. She was also one of England's first women advertising copywriters. She was called 'Pinkie' apparently because she was a very pink baby. But in reality she didn't like the abbreviations of all her names. She was Lavender Rosamund Marguerite and hated Lav, Ros and Marge, so was keen to be called a nickname. She played for England 11 times between 1946 and 1950 and won various trophies including the Championship of the Netherlands. She was British Doubles Finalist with the then World Champion, Hungary's Guysey Farkas.

Kydd took part in more than 100 films and TV plays/series including, 'Pickwick Papers', 'Mess Mates', 'Arthur Askey', 'Benny Hill', 'Charlie Drake', 'Harry Worth', 'The Expert', 'Dixon of Dock Green', 'Crane' and 'Orlando' in 1963. The part in 'Crane' sees Kydd appear as the lovable smuggler Orlando O'Connor. The programme starred Patrick Allen, as a Briton who moved to Morocco to run a cafe and had an aversion to smuggling. Kydd's character was so popular that when 'Crane' finished he was given his own programme 'Orlando' a children's adventure series.

He also appeared in the 'Fossett Saga', and 'Curry and Chips', as well as the big-screen versions of "Dad's Army" and "Till Death Do Us Part". Amongst his innumerable television appearances were "The Tony Hancock Show", "Orlando", "Crane", "Crossroads", "Coronation Street" (playing the part of Mike Baldwin's father, Frankie), "The Eric Sykes Show", and "Follyfoot".

Kydd died of a respiratory ailment. His son, Jonathan Kydd, has followed him into the acting profession.


External links

*imdb name|0477330
* [ Sam Kydd] on Jonathan Kydd's website
* [ Sam Kydd's profile] on the Cherished Television website

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