Jimmy Thompson (actor)

James Edward Thompson (30 October 1925 – 21 April 2005) was an English actor, writer and director.

Jimmy Thompson
Jimmy Thompson (actor).jpg
James Edward Thompson

(1925-10-30)30 October 1925
Died21 April 2005(2005-04-21) (aged 79)
EducationSt Peter's School, York
Occupationactor, writer, director
Known forLiberace impersonation
Spouse(s)Nina (d.1999)


He was born 30 October 1925 in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire and educated at St. Peter's School in York. As a young man he began his career in repertory theatre in Yorkshire and he toured with a theatrical company headed by Jean Forbes-Robertson.[1]

After his national service, he moved to London, and his early appearances on the West End stage were in intimate revue.[1]

In 1956, he became known for his impersonation of the American pianist and entertainer, Liberace, in the revue, For Amusement Only, at the Apollo Theatre.[2] Thompson was called in the 1959 libel action brought by the pianist against the Daily Mirror, and was himself subsequently sued by Liberace. Thompson settled out of court, making a donation to an actors’ charity.[1]

In 1959, he and his wife, Nina,[3] co-authored a musical comedy, The Quiz Kid, which was presented at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.[4] In 1964, he starred in Monsieur Blaise at the Royal Court and Phoenix theatres, a play adapted by his wife from the Claude Magnier [fr] farce. In 1974, Thompson starred in The Englishman Amused at the Young Vic, a production which again he co-wrote with his wife.[5] In 1992, he was once more in revue, appearing at the Whitehall Theatre in Spread a Little Happiness, the Vivian Ellis musical.[1] In the 1960s, Thompson appeared regularly in the BBC television programme, Pinky and Perky, created by Jan and Vlasta Dalibor.[6] In 1967, he starred in the title role in the first BBC2 play in colour, Lieutenant Tenant. Other television appearances included The Benny Hill Show (1970) and George and Mildred (1978).[1]

His film appearances include Carry On Regardless (1961), Carry On Cruising (1962), Band of Thieves (1962) (where he had one of the main roles) and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965).[3][7]

His directorial credits includ directing Simon Ward in Perchance to Dream, Patrick Cargill in Don't Misunderstand Me, Mollie Sugden in My Giddy Aunt, Windsor Davies in My Wife Whatsername, Peggy Mount in Blithe Spirit, and the original production of Jeeves Takes Charge with Edward Duke.[3]

After the death of his wife in 1999, he retired to York where he died on 21 April 2005.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1958 The Whole Truth Assistant
1959 The Man Who Liked Funerals Lt. Hunter
1960 Doctor in Love Doctor Uncredited
1961 No Love for Johnnie Sheilah's Party Guest Uncredited
1961 Carry On Regardless Mr. Delling
1961 Raising the Wind Alex Spendlove
1962 Carry On Cruising Sam Turner, Barman
1962 Band of Thieves Hon. Derek Delaney
1963 Carry On Jack Adm. Horatio Nelson
1965 Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines Photographer
1968 Hot Millions Salesman Uncredited
1970 Doctor in Trouble Ship's Doctor
1973 U-Turn Old ferry driver


  1. ^ a b c d e "Shorter, Eric. "Obituary: Jimmy Thompson."". London: The Guardian, 6 June 2005. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  2. ^ Pyron, Darden Asbury (26 April 2013). Liberace: An American Boy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226117126 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d "Jimmy Thompson". The Stage, 31 May 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  4. ^ Wearing, J. P. (16 September 2014). The London Stage 1950–1959: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780810893085 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Production of The Englishman Amused | Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  6. ^ "Pinky and Perky: You, Too, Can Be a Highlander". 27 March 1966. p. 21 – via BBC Genome.
  7. ^ "Jimmy Thompson". BFI.

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