: [in reference to the Carry On films] Those films haven't made me rich but they've given me a world wide identity.
Charles Hawtrey made his stage debut at age 11 after having spent several years in a prestigious acting school. A string of stage roles followed, and by 1929 his success led him to move into radio.
His success in that medium led to his entry into films, often working alongside noted comedian Will Hay. He continued his stage, radio and film work, although he scored more success on stage.
In 1958 he began work in the series for which he would achieve his greatest fame, the "Carry On" comedies. His stringy build, birdlike features, what has been described as his "outrageously posh" voice and his somewhat fey character's eccentricities made him one of the most popular of the "Carry On" gang. However, that very popularity indirectly led to his exit from the series.
He believed that his character's prominence, and the fact that he had more experience in the business than most of his co-stars, entitled him to receive a higher billing in the series than he was getting. The producers didn't see it that way, and after Carry on Abroad (1972), he departed the series.
His first Carry On film was Carry On Sergeant (1958) and his last was Carry on Abroad (1972).