Entertainment & Arts

Carry On writer Norman Hudis dies aged 93

Norman Hudis was at Pinewood Studios in 1998 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Carry On films Image copyright Morris Bright/PA
Image caption Norman Hudis was at Pinewood Studios in 1998 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Carry On films

Norman Hudis, best known for writing the first six Carry On films, has died at the age of 93.

The screenwriter died surrounded by his family in California on Monday after several weeks of hospice care.

His widow Rita Hudis said in a statement: "He died peacefully at home with myself and Stephen and Kevin, his two sons.

"He did well to reach 93. We will miss him. Our 60th anniversary would have been on the 28 April."

Hudis was born in London and began his career as a journalist before writing for stage and screen.

He wrote the first Carry On film, 1958's Carry On Sergeant, when he was 34. The cast included future Doctor Who actor William Hartnell, Bob Monkhouse, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques.

Hudis went on to pen Carry On Nurse, Teacher, Constable, Regardless and Cruising - the first Carry On film in colour.

Carry On films - the Norman Hudis years

Carry On Sergeant - 1958

Carry On Nurse - 1959

Carry On Teacher - 1959

Carry On Constable - 1960

Carry On Regardless - 1961

Carry On Cruising - 1962

Carry On Nurse was inspired by stories from his wife, a former nurse. In a BBC interview in 2008, Hudis said: "I used to call downstairs to Rita and say 'put on the old nurse's cap and tell me something funny'."

In 2008, Hudis published an autobiography titled No Laughing Matter: How I Carried On.

In it, he revealed that he continued to write Carry Ons after he left the series in the early 1960s in the hope that he might be asked back one day, drafting Carry On Under the Pier If Wet and Carry On Shylock Holmes.

After moving to the US, his TV writing credits include The Wild Wild West, The Man From UNCLE and Hawaii Five-O.

Morris Bright, chairman of Elstree Studios and a close family friend, said: "Without him we wouldn't have had the Carry On films, because he wrote the first six - and look what that spawned over the years.

"We owe the man a lot. He leaves a great legacy of joy, entertainment and laughter - something we can look back on and say, 'We're very grateful for him'.

"He was a great guy, I shall miss him a great deal."

Hudis is survived by his widow, two sons, and two grandchildren, Veronica and Cameron.

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