Veteran UK actor Ron Moody, best known for Oliver! and EastEnders, has died, aged 91.
Moody’s big break came in the 1960s when he was given the part of Fagin, in the musical production of Oliver! -a role he recreated in the 1968 film.
“Fate destined me to play Fagin. It was the part of a lifetime,” he said.
He was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for his performance and a Tony nomination for reprising the role in 1984.
He declined the opportunity to play the Third Doctor in Doctor Who, sending the role towards Jon Pertwee. Moody later described this as “the worst decision [he] ever made.”
He appeared in EastEnders as Edwin Caldecott, an old nemesis of Jim Branning, and played wizard Merlin in Disney’s A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.
Other credits included Holby City, Casualty, The Bill, The Animals of Farthing Wood, Hideaway, Murder She Wrote, Highway to Heaven, Strike Force, Gunsmoke, Dial M for Murder, Tales of the Unexpected, Starsky & Hutch, The Avengers, Summer Holiday, Unidentified Flying Oddball, Dominique, The 3 Kings, Moussaka & Chips, Lost Dogs and Revelation.
“After Oliver! my career didn’t develop,” he once said. “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.”