8 Frognal Gardens, Hampstead NW3

See above: plaque erected in 2008 by English Heritage (“Alastair Sim lived here 1953 – 1975”).

From the website of Hampstead Golf Club:

“…1957 – After a protracted series of claims against local councils and the national government for wartime loss of potential development rights (Ed – even though members never had any intention of building on the course!), a settlement cheque of over £70,000 was received by the Club and the monies used to pay off its mortgage; redeem all debentures; and purchase outstanding shares at a tidy profit to members. With some leftover cash, the clubhouse was upgrade, a car was bought for the secretary and a house in Cumbrian Gardens on the nearby Golders Green Estate was purchased for the golf pro. Annual club subs remained at £12.

Celebrities connected to HGC have included actor Alastair Sim (star of many St Trinian’s films of the 1950s); Lord Soper, one of Britain’s most outspoken Methodist ministers and renowned pacifist; and British Prime Minister of the 1960s and 70s Harold Wilson who were all members, as was comic Tim Brooke-Taylor (one of The Goodies), who filmed an episode of his Golf Clubs TV programme at Hampstead in the early 2000s.”

From Wikipedia:

“Alastair George Bell Sim, CBE (9 October 1900 – 19 August 1976) was a Scottish character actor who began his theatrical career at the age of thirty and quickly became established as a popular West End performer, remaining so until his death in 1976. Starting in 1935, he also appeared in more than fifty British films, including an iconic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol, released in 1951 as Scrooge in Great Britain and as A Christmas Carol in the United States. Though an accomplished dramatic actor, he is often remembered for his comically sinister performances.
After a series of false starts, including a spell as a jobbing labourer and another as a clerk in a local government office, Sim’s love of and talent for poetry reading won him several prizes and led to his appointment as a lecturer in elocution at the University of Edinburgh in 1925. He also ran his own private elocution and drama school, from which, with the help of the playwright John Drinkwater, he made the transition to the professional stage in 1930.
Despite his late start, Sim soon became well known on the London stage. A period of more than a year as a member of the Old Vic company brought him wide experience of playing Shakespeare and other classics, to which he returned throughout his career. In the modern repertoire, he formed a close professional association with the author James Bridie, which lasted from 1939 until the dramatist’s death in 1951. Sim not only acted in Bridie’s works, but directed them.
In the later 1940s and for most of the 1950s, Sim was a leading star of British cinema. They included Green for Danger (1946), Hue and Cry (1947), The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), Scrooge (1951), The Belles of St. Trinian’s (1954) and An Inspector Calls (1954). Later, he made fewer films and generally concentrated on stage work, including successful productions at the Chichester Festival and regular appearances in new and old works in the West End.”

From Alastairsim.net:

“…1930 Professional stage debut on 19th May as the Messenger in Othello (with Paul Robeson and Peggy Ashcroft). Rehearsals start in Spring with Alastair understudying Othello, Iago and Roderigo for £5 a week. Alastair lodges in the house of John Thompson and Jessie Hall in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

1932 Buys house in Garrick Avenue – a quiet street off Golders Green Road – for �800. Plays in small theatre on the outskirts of London.

1936 Buys house on Wildwood Road on other side of Hampstead Heath Extension…

1940 In August of this year Alastair and Naomi have a child of their own – a daughter named Merlith who is born in a London nursing home. The Sims’ house in Wildwood Road is totally destroyed by a bomb.

1953 Alastair is awarded the CBE.

197? Declines a knighthood.

1976 Alastair dies of cancer at University College Hospital, London on 19th August. He leaves his body for anatomical research.”

(Wikipedia): “Stage Fright is a 1950 British film noir directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding and Richard Todd. Others in the cast include Alastair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Kay Walsh, Hitchcock’s daughter Pat Hitchcock in her movie debut, and Joyce Grenfell in a humorous vignette.
The story was adapted for the screen by Whitfield Cook, Ranald MacDougall and Alma Reville (the director’s wife), with additional dialogue by James Bridie, based on the 1947 novel
Man Running by Selwyn Jepson.”

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