2 items from 2010
British character actor Lionel Jeffries frequently lent a comic presence to film and television productions during his long career. He was best know to sci-fi fans as scientist Joseph Cavor, whose gravity-repelling element Cavorite launched Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, and himself to the moon, in the 1964 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon, complete with special effects from Ray Harryhausen.
Jeffries was born in Forest Hill, London, England, on June 10, 1926, and served in the British military in the later part of World War II. He studied drama after his discharge, and began his career on stage in the late 1940s. Jeffries made his film debut in a small role in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Stage Fright in 1950. Bald, and frequently mustachioed, Jeffries became a familiar face in films and television over the next three decades.
His numerous film credits include the Hammer sci-fi classic The Creeping Unknown »
British actor and filmmaker Lionel Jeffries has died at the age of 83, according to Variety. Jeffries had been suffering from a long illness in Poole, before passing away on February 19.
The actor had a long career, and was probably best known for his role as Dick Van Dyke's father in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang -- quite the anomaly since Jeffries was actually young than Van Dyke, by a good six months. Ah, the wonder of cinema. He also played Inspector Parker opposite Peter Sellers' Pearly Gates in The Wrong Arm of the Law, Monsieur Brun in the Oscar-nominated Fanny, and my personal favorite -- Captain Sydney De Courcy Rhumstone in the wacky, Margaret Rutherford-starring Murder Ahoy (pictured above).
But he also made his mark behind the camera. Jeffries gravitated to family fare, and no feature earned as much success as first he wrote and directed in 1970 -- »
- Monika Bartyzel
2 items from 2010
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