Day 19, No. 19. Alastair Sim

Alastair Sim HAIRCUT 100: Day 19, No. 19. Alastair Sim (1900 – 1976), Scottish character actor and director, Fulton Lecturer in Elocution, rector of Edinburgh University (beating future Tory PM Harold Macmillan in the ballot), CBE, and the definitive Ebenezer Scrooge. Sim did not actually begin his acting career until he was thirty, having previously dabbled in gent’s outfitting, labouring, office work, the army, and academia. (As a child, he wanted to be a hypnotist, and practiced on dogs.) In addition to a distinguished stage career, Sim was a leading star of British cinema, appearing in more than fifty films, including Green for Danger (1946), Hue and Cry (1947), London Belongs to Me (1948), The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), Scrooge (1951), The Belles of St Trinian’s (1954), An Inspector Calls (1954), and my personal, all-time, desert island favourite, School for Scoundrels (1960), a dramatization of the ‘lifemanship’ books of Stephen Potter. He died of cancer in 1976, having turned down a knighthood. ‘It was revealed to me many years ago with conclusive certainty that I was a fool and that I had always been a fool. Since then I have been as happy as any man has a right to be.’

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