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Ron Moody Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 8 January 1924London, England, UK
Birth NameRonald Moodnick

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 engaging musical villain of all time. The son of a plasterer born in London in 1924, he never gave much of a look at pursuing the acting field until age 29. Prior to that he had only entertained thoughts of becoming an economist or sociologist (trained at the London School of Economics). On his way to becoming a top stand-up and improv revue artist in England (from 1952), he made 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. It was not a great success, however, but 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 called Oliver!. He later bandied about in other roguish roles too in such TV series as The Avengers (1961). In 1968, Ron transferred the Dickensian thief to film, Oliver! (1968), and stole a well-deserved Oscar nomination as well, not to mention major Hollywood interest. His portrayal of Uriah Heep in a TV version of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield (1969) was also a great success. He went on to play other more contemporary roles, both straight and sharply comic, but Fagin would be his lasting claim to fame.

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

Spouse (1)

Therese Blackbourn Moody (1985 - present) (6 children)

Trivia (10)

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 eventually went to Jon Pertwee. He 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 (1969). 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.

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 mble]. 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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