Star Archive

Esma Cannon (1896 - 1972)

If there's one thing that British cinema excelled in, it was the strength of its bit players - people who could waltz in for a few lines and waltz back out again safe in the knowledge they've completely stolen the picture. Esma Cannon was one of the greatest picture stealers of all time.

Surprisingly, for someone whose career mainly consisted in portraying Cockney types she was born in Sydney. She was already in her thirties before she arrived on these shores and quickly established herself in stage bits. Inevitably, this lead to small parts in films as the industry trawled the West End for talent.

Like most character actresses, her roles improved as she got older. Despite her increasingly busy filming schedule she still continued to work on stage. Her most famous role was as the nervous spinster dominated by Peggy Mount in Sailor Beware. She recreated this role in the subsequent film.

She retired at the height of her career. Not only had she established herself as a regular in the hot new Carry On film series, she was also starring in the popular sitcom The Rag Trade.         

Photo of Esma CannonStill of Esma Cannon in Holiday Camp


1937 The 5 Man
1937 The Last Adventurers
1937 Ladies in Love
1938 I See Ice
1938 It's in the Air
1939 Trouble Brewing
1939 I Met a Murderer
1939 The Spy in Black
1939 Poison Pen
1940 The Briggs Family
1941 Asking for Trouble
1941 Quiet Wedding
1941 The Big Blockade
1942 The Young Mr Pitt
1943 It's in the Bag
1944 The Way Ahead
1944 English Without Tears
1944 Don't Take it to Heart
1944 A Canterbury Tale
1946 The Years Between
1947 Jassy
1947 Holiday Camp
1948 Here Come the Huggetts
1948 Vote for Huggett
1949 Marry Me
1949 Helter Skelter
1949 Fools Rush In
1949 The Huggetts Abroad
1950 Guilt is my Shadow
1950 Last Holiday
1950 Double Confession
1952 Crow Holiday
1953 The Steel Key
1953 Noose for a Lady
1953 Trouble in Store
1954 The Case of Soho Red
1954 The Sleeping Tiger
1955 Out of the Clouds
1955 Dam Busters
1956 Sailor Beware
1956 A Touch of the Sun
1956 Three Men in a Boat
1958 Further Up the Creek
1959 I'm All Right, Jack
1959 Jack the Ripper
1959 Expresso Bongo
1960 Inn for Trouble
1960 Carry on Constable
1960 Flesh and the Fiends
1960 Doctor in Love
1960 No Kidding
1961 Carry On Regardless
1961 What a Carve Up!
1961 Over the Odds
1961 Raising the Wind
1961 In the Doghouse
1962 We Joined the Navy
1962 The Fast Lady
1962 On the Beat
1962 Carry On Cruising
1963 Nurse on Wheels
1963 Hide and Seek
1963 Carry On Cabby

 Esma Cannon at Amazon UK

 Esma Cannon at Amazon US