Ron Moody Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Tottenham, Middlesex, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK
Birth NameRonald Moodnick
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Equipped with a crooked, leering smirk and devilish gleam in his eye, the homely, yet beautifully expressive mug of actor Ron Moody will be most assuredly remembered for one signature role, despite the fact that the talented comedian had much, much more to offer. Carol Channing may have had her Dolly Levi and Yul Brynner his King of Siam, but Moody would become the most delightfully mischievous, engagingly musical villain of all time.

The son of a plasterer born in London in 1924, Ron never gave much of a look at pursuing the acting field until age 29. Prior to that he had entertained thoughts of becoming an economist or sociologist (trained at the London School of Economics). But, changing his destiny on the way, he became a top stand-up and improv revue artist in England (from 1952), making an inauspicious film bow in 1957 in an unbilled bit. It was the British musical stage that offered him his first taste of stardom with the London company of Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" in 1959. Although it was not a great success, however, it did lead to the role of a lifetime the following year as Fagin, the loveable, rapscallious pickpocket in the musical version of "Oliver Twist" simply entitled Oliver!.

The heavily balding Moody later bandied about in other roguish roles too in such TV series as The Avengers (1961) and in the comedies The Mouse on the Moon (1963) and Murder Most Foul (1964), both starring Margaret Rutherford. But in 1968, Ron was given the opportunity to transfer his Dickensian stage thief to film. Oliver! (1968) allowed him to steal a well-deserved Golden Globe trophy and Oscar nomination in the process, not to mention Hollywood interest. Although he never again matched the success of Oliver! (1968), Moody's portrayal of Uriah Heep in a TV version of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield (1970) became another a great success. Other offbeat cinematic roles, both dramatic and sharply comic, included such films as The Twelve Chairs (1970), Flight of the Doves (1971), Legend of the Werewolf (1975), Dogpound Shuffle (1975), Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979) (aka: Unidentified Flying Oddball, as Merlin), Wrong Is Right (1982), Where Is Parsifal? (1984), Emily's Ghost (1992), A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) (as Merlin), The 3 Kings (2000), Revelation (2001), Paradise Grove (2003) and Lost Dogs (2005).

Despite his fine work elsewhere, the role of Fagin would be Moody's long-lasting claim to fame. He reprised the part at a 1985 in a Royal Variety Performance at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, before Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his TV career, Moody's presence and/or voice graced several children's series including the adaptations of Into the Labyrinth (1981) and The Telebugs (1986), and he was occasionally on TV here in the U.S., including 80s episodes of "Hart to Hart," "Highway to Heaven" and "Murder, She Wrote."

The endearing Ron Moody died at age 91 in London.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Therese Blackbourn (1985 - 11 June 2015) ( his death) ( 6 children)

Trivia (11)

He declined the opportunity to play the Third Doctor in the popular BBC series Doctor Who (1963), after the departure of Patrick Troughton in 1969. The part then went to the producer's second choice Jon Pertwee. Moody later described this as "the worst decision [he] ever made.".
Was nominated for Broadway's 1984 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Oliver!," recreating the role of Fagin that had previously gained him a Best Actor Oscar nomination in the film version of the same name, Oliver! (1968).
Columbia producers wanted to cast Peter Sellers as Fagin in Oliver! (1968), but Lionel Bart and Carol Reed both insisted that Moody should be allowed to reprise his acclaimed stage role.
He played Merlin in both Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979) and A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) as well as a man who believed himself to be King Arthur in Highway to Heaven (1984).
Appeared in The Twelve Chairs (1970) with Dom DeLuise. Both of them have played Fagin in a production of "Oliver Twist." Ron Moody played Fagin in Oliver! (1968) and Dom DeLusie voiced Fagin in Oliver & Company (1988).
Has appeared in two movies based on Charles Dickens novels: Oliver! (1968) and David Copperfield (1970). He was also on the shortlist of actors considered to play Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992).
Lives in Southgate, London, England. [April 2002]
Appeared on stage at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on 30 June 2010, exactly fifty years since he first played Fagin. [June 2010]
He played Fagin on stage a year before Oliver! (1968).
David Jason is one of his biggest fans and learned much from him when they acted on stage together.
His mother, Kate (Ogus), was of Lithuanian Jewish descent, and his father, Bernard Moodnick, was of Russian Jewish background.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on the death of Jack Wild] Jack really was cheated out of a great career. He was easy to work with and made you feel good. He was a professional; his performance was incredible and the film will remain a classic. We were talking about getting together and going to see each other. We were more like Laurel and Hardy. We used to call ourselves Fagin and Dodger. We had that kind of bond between us. He had a talent that should have developed into even more talent as he grew older. Pressure makes people react in different ways. Some people plunge in and others take the way out. Jack also had bad luck, with the fact that he got so ill. The talent was still there but it didn't work out for him. I never thought he would ever give up. I thought he'd fought it. It's very sad. He was a fighter.
After Oliver! (1968), my career didn't develop. I was offered Fagin-type roles but I wanted to do new things. I could have worked in America, but there was a recession in the British film industry and I wanted to work in England. I've no regrets. You take responsibility for your actions. You don't kvetch. Playing Fagin in the play and film was a small miracle.
If I had stayed in America afterwards, then things would probably have been much better and I would have had lots of film work, which I wanted. But the day after the Oscars I flew back to London to film a television play for Anglia. It was a big mistake because you never really get acknowledged for wanting to work in England, as I did. I just think now that you are a bloody fool if you do that. You should take the money when you can.

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