ALASTAIR SIM, LONDON, NOVEMBER, 1974
THE WATERMARK AND THE SIGNATURE ON THE IMAGE WILL NOT BE PRESENT ON AN ORIGINAL PRINT.
He was the king of eccentricity, the authorative character who sends up the whole idea of authority. It was the type of cinema the British industry excelled at in the Forties and Fifties. Born in Edinburgh he went to work in the family tailoring business, but left to go on the stage and was also soon doing small parts in ‘quota quickies’, British films made because of a government enforcement that a certain percentage of films should be made in Britain as opposed to the USA. The public took to him in a big way.
A very private man, reluctant to sign autographs or make public appearances, he turned down a CBE from the Queen. In 1948 he was made Rector of Edinburgh University, obtaining 400% more votes than opponent Harold Macmillan.