Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lionel Jeffries, R.I.P.

He lost all his hair at nineteen*
and polished his head to a sheen
As character actor
no hair was a factor
in playing much older on screen

*According to the IMDb.

British character actor and director Lionel Jeffries passed away in February. Jeffries played Dick Van Dyke's father in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (68), though he was actually six months younger than Van Dyke.
Known mostly for his comedic roles, his many films include Stage Fright (1950), The Colditz Story (54), Lust for Life (57), Two-Way Stretch and The Trials of Oscar Wilde (both 1960), and First Men in the Moon (64). In the 1970s Jeffries began writing and directing family films. The most successful of these was his first, The Railway Children (70). Photos: In Murder Ahoy! (64); As director, with Diana Dors on the set of The Amazing Mr. Blunden (72).

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