Belfast Telegraph

Day of movies devoted to Sam Kydd - Northern Ireland veteran of 240 films

By Ivan Little

A television channel is devoting an entire day - and night - to the films of a forgotten Ulster actor who appeared in 240 movies and hundreds of TV shows, including Coronation Street.

Belfast-born Sam Kydd has been described by Talking Pictures TV as one of the greatest British character actors of all time. He was probably the busiest.

Sam, who died at the age of 67 in 1982, had roles in major box office hits like Passport to Pimlico, The 39 Steps, The Cruel Sea, Reach for the Sky and I'm Alright Jack, starring Peter Sellers.

As well as Corrie - where he played factory owner Mike Baldwin's father - he also appeared in Minder, Crossroads, Crane and Orlando.

Sam, who was born into an Army officer's family in 1915, left Belfast in his youth. The Kydds lived in Roden Street in the Village area.

After moving to England, Sam had a trial with Queen's Park Rangers Football Club and played cricket but became an entertainer.

He joined the Territorial Army and was later called up for active service in the Second World War.

But after just a week in France he was captured and ended up as a prisoner of war in German-occupied western Poland.

He was held there for the duration of the war and organised theatrical productions in his POW camp to boost morale.

After his liberation by the Russian army Sam relaunched his acting career. He also wrote a book about his incarceration called For You the War is Over.

Sam was in big demand by British movie makers from the late 1940s right through to the late 1970s.

This Thursday, Sam's birthday, Sam's son Jonathan will talk about his father between films throughout the marathon tribute on Talking Pictures TV, which is available on satellite and Freeview.

Ten of Sam's movies will be screened, starting with Radio Cab Murders at breakfast time and finishing with Chance Of A Lifetime at 11pm.

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