Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
New Look At Oscar Isaac In A Most Violent Year
J. C. Chandor's Once Upon A Time In America
Teaser Trailer For Inherent Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson does Thomas Pynchon
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
30 March 2009
Jameson Empire Award Winners!
Dark Knight, Rambow & Solace among them
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Son Of Rambow (2008)
Empire Star Rating
Son Of Rambow (2008)
Empire Star Rating
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
Empire Star Rating
The Others
Empire Star Rating
The Others
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Eric Sykes Has Died
He was 89

04 July 2012  |  Written by James White  

submit to reddit

Eric Sykes Has Died

The entertainment world has lost one of its most respected comedy writers and performers as Eric Sykes has died at the age of 89.

Sykes grew up in Oldham, Lancashire and began his entertainment career while serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Following the conflict, he moved to London in 1946 and began looking for work. A lucky break – very lucky, since he’d ended up cold and penniless – saw him meet an old Air Force friend, Bill Fraser, who invited him to come and write material at the Playhouse Theatre. Sykes wound up writing for Fraser and other performers including Frankie Howerd, and quickly made a name for himself as a quality comic scribe.

Sykes started performing himself on the radio in 1950, working with, among other notable names, Tony Hancock. During that time, he shared an office with Spike Milligan. In 1954, he began working with Milligan on Goon Show scripts, which then led to other work.

Moving from radio to TV, he began to write for variety shows and collaborated with Morecambe and Wise before co-creating the sitcom Sykes And A…., which co-starred Hattie Jacques. Film-wise he made his debut (and provided additional material for) Orders Are Orders in 1954, but got his big starring break in 1962’s Village Of Daughters. He wrote, directed and starred in an occasional series of - mostly silent - comedy shorts, such as The Plank and The Big Freeze. Other film appearances included Theatre Of Blood, The Boys In Blue and, more recently, The Others, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and Son Of Rambow.

Sykes battled hearing problems through his later life, but was fitted with glasses bearing a hidden hearing aid and learned to read lips so he could continue his career.

“He was a gentle man and a gentleman,” Jimmy Tarbuck told the BBC after hearing the news. There's a big difference between the two but he was both.” He’s survived by his wife Edith, with whom he celebrated 60 years of marriage in February, one son and three daughters.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Matt Damon Takes Aim In Elysium Shot
First official pic from Blomkamp sci-fi
Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain
UPDATE: He's no longer in talks

Your Comments

FLASHMAN
How many current screen comedians can generate genuine laughs without shocks & outrage? Beyond Will Ferrell, not many. I once sat beside him in a bar that he regularly frequented in southern Spain, he cradled a beer, puffed a cheroot, exchanged some low-key banter with the staff, and left without fuss. After he went away, they said that he was always the same, never bombastic, always polite & low-key. Loved his autobiography, 'If I don't write this, nobody else will' & he told a More

Posted by Frank Comiskey at 10:21 on 05 July 2012 | Report This Post

FLASHMAN
How many current screen comedians can generate genuine laughs without shocks & outrage? Beyond Will Ferrell, not many. I once sat beside him in a bar that he regularly frequented in southern Spain, he cradled a beer, puffed a cheroot, exchanged some low-key banter with the staff, and left without fuss. After he went away, they said that he was always the same, never bombastic, always polite & low-key. Loved his autobiography, 'If I don't write this, nobody else will' & he told a More

Posted by Frank Comiskey at 10:21 on 05 July 2012 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The Future Of Film: Movie Posters Will Talk To You (And Buy Your Tickets)
Movie posters will be bigger, better... and talk to you?

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

25 Movie Songs Bigger Than The Movie
The film tunes that transcend their origins...

Denzel Washington: A Viewer’s Guide
The highs and lows of The Equalizer star’s career to date

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)