Jimmy Jewel

James Arthur Thomas Jewel Marsh, known as Jimmy Jewel, (4 December 1909 – 3 December 1995) was an English television and film actor.

The son of a comedian and actor who also used the stage name Jimmy Jewel, the youngster made his stage debut in Robinson Crusoe in Barnsley, at the age of four, performed with his father from the age of 10 and subsequently became stage manager for the family show.

When young Jimmy started his own act, his father refused to let him use his stage name 'Jimmy Jewel', so he performed as Maurice Marsh; the name was chosen because he was often seen doing Maurice Chevalier impressions. He made his first London stage appearance at the Bedford Music Hall, Camden Town in 1925 and worked as a solo act until 1934.

Jewel's early career was as part of a double act with Ben Warriss (1909–93), who together made regular television appearances in the 1950s after a popular radio comedy series Up the Pole in the post-war years. The premise of Up the Pole was that Jewel and Warriss maintained a residence at the North Pole, although it was never explained why they chose to live there. The pair, who were reputed to be Britain's leading double-act in variety, were top of the bill in two London Palladium shows - 'Gangway' and 'High Time'. They toured Australia and America, as well as appearing in the 1946 Royal Variety Performance and five pantomimes for Howard and Wyndham at the Opera House, Blackpool, Lancashire.

Jewel and Warriss were first cousins and were brought up in the same household, even being born in the same bed (a few months apart). A persistent rumour - difficult to substantiate or to disprove, at this late date - maintains that, when Jewel and Warriss appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sullivan mistakenly introduced them as "Jules and his Walrus".

After splitting from Warriss in 1966, and having done a stint working as a joiner and bricklayer, Jewel starred in the sitcom Nearest and Dearest with Hylda Baker as pickle factory owner Eli Pledge from 1968 to 1973. The two actors were rumoured to row constantly.

Jewel starred in the comedy series Spring and Autumn (1972–76) as retired railway worker Tommy Butler. He appeared in the initial run of "Last of the Summer Wine" (1973-74). He made a guest appearance in an episode of Lovejoy (1993), as well as appearances in the children's classic Worzel Gummidge (1980) and the comedy series Thicker than Water. His film appearances included The Krays (1990).

In 1981 he starred in Funny Man (1981), a touching series about a family music hall act, written by Adele Rose and based on Jewel's father's company in the 1920s and 1930s. Also that year he performed as Al Lewis in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, Kent.

Later in his life Jewel appeared in one episode of the comedy series One Foot in the Grave (1990), The Krays feature film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Krays_%28film%29, as well as the medical drama series Casualty (1991). In the 1990 ITV play, Missing Persons (the pilot for the later BBC series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates), he played Frank Cross.

He was married to Belle Bluett and had "2 children one son and a daughter". In 1985 He won a Variety Club of Great Britain Special Award. Jewel died on 3 December 1995, the day before his 86th birthday, and was cremated and interred at the Golders Green Crematorium, in London.

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