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Leonard Rossiter Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in Liverpool, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (heart attack)
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Leonard Rossiter was born on October 21st, 1926 in Liverpool. Unable to afford to go to university, he worked in an insurance office until he was 27, when he joined Preston repertory company and made his professional stage debut in "The Gay Dog". After Preston, he starred in productions at Wolverhampton, Salisbury and The Old Vic Company at Bristol's Theatre Royal. In 1962, he made his first big-screen appearance in A Kind of Loving (1962), followed by other films throughout the 1960s, including Billy Liar (1963) and TV appearances such as Z Cars (1962), The Avengers (1961) and Steptoe and Son (1962). His portrayal of "Adolf Hitler" in the 1969 play, "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui", made him a West End star. His roles as "Rigsby" in Rising Damp (1974) and the title role in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) made him a household name, and his Cinzano commercials with Joan Collins were comic masterpieces. A keen sportsman, he excelled in squash, tennis and football. He was also a connoisseur of fine wines. His busy career came to a tragically premature end on October 5th 1984, just sixteen days short of his 58th birthday. During a performance of Joe Orton's play "Loot", Leonard suffered a heart attack in his dressing room. He was married to actress Gillian Raine and had a daughter, Camilla.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Paul Fisher paul@leonardrossiter.com

Spouse (2)

Gillian Raine (1972 - 5 October 1984) (his death) (1 child)
Josephine Tewson (1959 - 1961) (divorced)

Trivia (6)

He died of heart attack in his dressing room during a stage performance of Joe Orton's "Loot".
He was well-known for his strict professionalism and competitive streak. He was a perfectionist when it came to acting, and was known to be a difficult actor to work with despite his affectionate and flamboyant personality.
He was left-handed, as can be seen during an episode of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976).
He was interviewed by police officers during the Valerie Storie and Michael J Gregston inquiry.
He was considered for the roles of Fallada, Bukovsky, Dr. Armstrong and Sir Percy in Lifeforce (1985).
He was the first choice for the role of Wadsworth in Clue (1985) but he passed away a few months prior to the filming. The role went to Tim Curry.

Personal Quotes (4)

You get a much greater sense of doing the job more successfully working in the theater ...Theatre is my favorite, I suppose, audiences are very important to me.
Partly because of my lack of interest in history and partly because of an in-built conviction that too much research leads to cranky performances, I never dug too deeply into the private lives of any historical characters I've attempted - Voltaire, Hitler, Giordano Bruno or Richard III. If the author doesn't achieve his aim between pages 1 and 80 no amount of research by an actor will do it.
When I worked over there (America) I came to a firm conclusion - we are separated by a mutual language.
It's not that I can't tolerate fools, I can, providing that I don't have to put up with them for too long.

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