James Booth, one of Britain’s most famous character actors and best known for his portrayal of cheerful cockneys, has died at the age of 77.
Booth shot to fame as a member of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop when he appeared as Tosher in the 1959 production of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be. Lionised by critics such as Kenneth Tynan, he went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company and later had a successful career in the USA writing television and film scripts.
Among Booth’s many film credits were Sparrers Can’t Sing (1962) opposite Barbara Windsor, The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), Zulu (1964) and The Jazz Singer (1980).
On television he starred in series such as Minder, Bergerac and he played ex-convict Ernie Niles in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
He died on August 11.