Ian Carmichael took the British cinema by storm in the 1950s and remains one of Britain's best loved comic actors. Born in Hull Carmichael showed his acting talents early and studied at RADA. He had already played his first revue before volunteering for army service in 1941. He returned to the theatre in 1947 and began getting some very small roles in films.
The Boulting Brothers spotted his potential straight away and promoted him to innocent recruit Stanley Windrush in "Private's Progress," a hilariously perceptive comedy about army life that became a smash hit. Inspired by the success, the producers transferred almost half the cast to a legal comedy called "Brothers in Law," which if anything was funnier still and firmly established Carmichael as a comic star. Perhaps Carmichael's best-loved role was as Kingsley Amis's "Lucky Jim", a working-class university lecturer who irritates everyone.
Hit after hit followed, including Happy is the Bride!, a cameo-filled account of the disastrous run-up to a marriage and political satire, Left, Right and Centre. He returned to the Stanley Windrush role in I'm All Right, Jack, the Boulting Brothers attach on trade unions, which won a British Oscar for its screenplay. Follow this with the hugely successful comedy, School for Scoundrels, and Carmichael became Britain's hottest comic actor. Carmichael went on to star in television, in classic roles such as Lord Peter Wimsey and P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster. In 1999 he also appeared in Wives and Daughters (BBC).