Best known for his portrayal of the lovable rogue Fagin in the 1968 film ‘Oliver!’, the actor Ron Moody, has died aged 91.
The actor also held the role of Fagin on both the West End and Broadway prior to making the film adaptation of Lionel Bart’s stage musical.
Born Ronald Moodnick in north London, Roony had career spanned a wide breadth of TV and movies, including being offered the role of the Doctor in Dr Who which he declined.
Moody’s acting career began at the age of 16 when working as a wages clerk at Elstree studios. Though he studies sociology at the London School of Economics, he became involved with student theatre. In his words, “in short, I got the stage bug.”
When asked about the role of Fagin, Moody said “at first, I never wanted to do it. They told me there was this musical of Oliver Twist, so I went to see the Alec Guinness film, which I found to be so anti-semitic as to be unbearable.
“But Bart is as Jewish as I am and we both felt an obligation to get Fagin away from a viciously racial stereotype and instead make him what he really is – a crazy old Father Christmas gone wrong.”
He is survived by six children with his wife, Therese.
By Hal Breen