In The News

Comedian Eli Woods passes away

Comedian Eli Woods passes away

THE veteran comedian Eli Woods has passed away at the age of 91.

Mr. Woods had started his career playing the stooge for his uncle, Jimmy James, who had developed his craft during the music hall era. His debut in 1948 had come about by accident after one of his uncle’s regular performers was unavailable for a show. The young man, who was born John Casey, was drafted in and quickly proved himself to be a born comedian.

He was the perfect stooge — long-faced and gangly, he could easily conjure up a gormless demeanour. He would also exaggerate his stammer to great comedy effect.

One of his uncle’s great routines was In The Box. James’s son, Jim Casey, regularly appeared with his father and cousin in the three-hander. In later years Roy Castle would take over from Casey (see below).

Following the death of his uncle in 1965, Eli Woods continued his career, working the club circuit as well appearing on television and radio. Over the years, he appeared on television shows with the likes of Les Dawson, Kenny Everett and Des O’Connor. 

He also worked on a range of TV shows including Last Of The Summer Wine, Heartbeat, Little Dorrit and Super Gran.

Mr. Woods, who retired from the stage in 2004, also appeared in several films including A Private Function (1984).

He is survived by his second wife, Pamela, and his five children.

To see footage of Eli Woods appearing with Jimmy James and Roy Castle in a performance of In The Box, click here.

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