Immortalised through her roles in twenty-four of the iconic
films, Joan Sims remains one of Britainís best-known comedy legends. For
five decades - through more than seventy film appearances and work on
stage, television and radio - she captured the hearts of audiences
around the world. Yet behind the laughter was heartache and personal
torment as the incredibly private actress battled depression,
insecurity, loneliness and alcoholism.
this authorised biography of Joan, Andrew Ross details her early years
on stage and rise to stardom in theatre revue, her failed romances and
the intense bond with her parents which ultimately led to the collapse
of her one serious love affair.
Revealed is the truth about Joanís relationships with her Carry On
co-stars (including Kenneth Williams who bizarrely proposed to her), the
drink problem which forced her to spend time in a grim Victorian mental
institute in the early 1980s and the circumstances behind her reclusive
final years and last months in hospital before her death in 2001.
With a cast of characters, ranging from Sidney James and Kenneth
Williams to Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn, Joanís story, from a
solitary and lonely childhood in 1930s Essex, to her status as a
national treasure in the 1990s, is one of professional success over
personal heartache achieved through immense determination.
Drawing on first-hand accounts from Joanís closest surviving friends and
contemporaries including Barbara Windsor, Fenella Fielding, Dame Judi
Dench and Sir Tom Courtenay, as well as exclusive material from her
personal archive, what emerges is the story of a much-loved lady who
battled private demons to become one of the finest and best-loved
actresses of her generation.