John Comer (1 March 1924 – 11 February 1984) was a British comic actor. He was best known for his roles in Coronation Street as Mr Birtles, then as a taxi driver, and later as Wilf Jones, in Emmerdale Farm as Ernie Shuttleworth, Les Brandon in I Didn't Know You Cared, and cafe owner Sid in Last of the Summer Wine.
|Born||1 March 1924|
|Died||11 February 1984 (aged 59)|
|Resting place||Carleton Crematorium and Cemetery, Carleton, Lancashire, England|
Comer began his career performing a comedy routine around local social clubs and pubs in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1952, with his younger brother Tony, he performed in a children's theatre production for local schools in Stretford. The siblings then formed a double act named the Comer Brothers. In 1957 the brothers began a regular slot at the Manchester Apollo, performing a variety act entitled Comer's Cottage.
In 1958 the Comer Brothers participated in an ITV talent show called Bid for Fame and began working for Butlin's. In 1959 they won first prize in the Butlin's National Talent Contest, winning £1,000 and a film contract with the Boulting Brothers.
In 1959 the Boulting Brothers cast John and Tony Comer in the film I'm All Right Jack, in which they starred alongside Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough as trade union shop stewards. Their next film roles were in 1961, when they featured 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. He appeared in the Boulting Brothers' 1967 film The Family Way as a father-of-the-bride to Hayley Mills's character, whose father John Mills portrayed her father-in-law.
He gained a recurring role in 1973 as the primary supporting role of Sid in the new BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. He also starred in a long-running advertising campaign for Home Brew Beer. 1977 saw him appear as Bill Malley in the BBC series Murder Most English. Comer appeared in an episode of All Creatures Great and Small entitled "The Name of the Game" in 1978.
Comer died of throat cancer in 1984, 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 episode Getting Sam Home, his lines had to be dubbed by another actor, Tony Melody. His funeral was held at Carleton Crematorium, Blackpool, where he is commemorated at rose-bed no. 18. After the death of Comer's wife, Mollie, in 2010, his estate was finalised; in 2013 the Comer family donated £245,000 to the hospice in Blackpool where John Comer was treated before his death.
|1959||I'm Alright Jack||Union Shop Steward|
|1960||Hell Is a City||Plainclothes Police Driver||Uncredited|
|1964||The Counterfeit Constable|
|1965||Rotten to the Core||Police Sergeant||Uncredited|
|1966||The Family Way||Leslie Piper|
|1969||Battle of Britain||Policeman||Uncredited|
|1970||There's a Girl in My Soup||John, the porter|
|1971||Villain||Waiter at House of Commons||Uncredited|
|1971||Mr. Forbush and the Penguins||Police Sergeant|
|1972||Dr. Phibes Rises Again||Ship's Officer||Uncredited|
|1973||The Lovers!||Geoffrey's Dad|
|1981||Memoirs of a Survivor||Man delivering Emily|
|1962-63||Coronation Street||Mr. Birtles|
|1965||Coronation Street||Taxi Driver|
|1966||Pardon the Expression||Policeman|
|1967||Turn out the Lights||Policeman|
|1968||Coronation Street||Wilf Jones|
|1973||Bless This House||The Landlord|
|1973||Crown Court||Police Constable||Episode: The mugging of Arthur Simmons|
|1972-1974||Play For Today||Various|
|1973||All Our Saturdays||Wilf|
|1973-1983||Last of the Summer Wine||Sid||(final appearance)|
|1975||The Life of Riley||George Pollitt|
|1975||Emmerdale Farm||Ernie Shuttleworth||3 episodes|
|1975-1979||I Didn't Know You Cared||Les Brandon|
|1976-1978||Potter's Picture Palace||Sidney Bogart|
|1977||Murder Most English||Recurring role as a police sergeant|
|1978||All Creatures Great and Small||Mr. Dimmock|
|1980||Nice Work||Mr. Blundell|
- Banks, Kate (11 April 2013). "Late Last of the Summer Wine actor's family to donate £245,000 to cancer hospice". UK: Messenger Newspapers. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "The Comer Brothers". St Ann's Stretford Parish Magazine. Christmas 2007. p. 14.
- "Help hospice in your will". The Gazette. Blackpool, Lancashire, UK: Johnston Publishing Ltd. 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 26 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.