Sid James (8 May 1913-26 April 1976) was a film and television actor. He was sometimes credited as "Sidney James".
Of Jewish parents, James was born Joel Solomon Cohen in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa. He worked as a diamond cutter, hairdresser and part-time boxer in fairgrounds before becoming a professional actor.
During World War II, he became a Lieutenant in the South African Army in an entertainment unit, and subsequently took up acting as a career. He came to Britain in 1946 on the back of his service gratuity. Initially he worked in repertory before being spotted by the nascent British post-war film industry, making his first appearance in Night Beat (1947).