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.
View previous In the News items: Hugh Smyth is given a Shankill Road farewell, Inspirational teenager Stephen Sutton passes away, Millions failing to make plans for their death, Colourful funeral for brave Oscar Knox, Scientist Colin Pillinger passes away, Former boxing champion Jimmy Ellis passes away, Tributes are paid to Elena Baltacha, Make the effort to join the donor register, Paul Robeson Junior passes away, Tributes are paid to former footballer Sandy Jardine, Headstones are damaged at a Belfast cemetery, Tributes are paid to popular politician, Generous response in wake of marathon tragedy, Tributes are paid to actress Edna Dore, Private funeral is planned for Mickey Rooney, Country musician Arthur Smith passes away, Comedy writer Bob Larbey passes away, Surfing pioneer Hobie Alter passes away, Writer Sam McAughtry passes away, Internet sensation Peter Oakley passes away, Tributes are paid to actor James Rebhorn, Funeral takes place of James Ellis, Vandals damage graves in Newry, Voice actor Hal Douglas passes away, Belfast mourns passing of James Ellis, Actress Sheila MacRae passes away, Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland passes away, Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia passes away, Tributes are paid to Maria von Trapp, Actor Malcolm Tierney passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Christopher Malcolm, Actor Ken Jones passes away, Waltons actor Ralph Waite passes away, Tributes are paid to veteran comedian Sid Caesar, Former actress Shirley Temple passes away, Funeral takes place of Belfast actress Leila Webster, Songwriter Anna Gordy Gaye passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Maximilian Schell, Actor Eric Lawson passes away, Tributes are paid to Pete Seeger, Slight rise in number of deaths in Northern Ireland, Stargazer John Dobson passes away, Actress Sarah Marshall passes away, Tributes are paid to Sir Christopher Chataway, Tributes are paid to Lord McAlpine, Tributes are paid to Roger Lloyd Pack, Thieves target urn containing ashes of Sigmund Freud, Actress Alexandra Bastedo passes away, Poet Amiri Baraka passes away, Tributes are paid to Paul Goggins, Entertainment mogul Run Run Shaw passes away, Tributes are paid to film producer Saul Zaentz, Local charities hold Christmas appeals, Actress Joan Fontaine passes away or Tributes are paid to screen legend Peter OToole
If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.
Our Email Alerts system means that if you register a name with us, we will send you a message if it appears on our website.