skip navigation
Leo McKern

Leo McKern

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Ryan's Daughter: Special Edition... Winner of 2 Academy Awards® 1970! Lovely, headstrong Rosy (Sarah Miles) cannot... more info $26.98was $26.98 Buy Now

Reilly: Ace of Spies DVD At the turn of the 20th century, one remarkable man single-handedly tried to... more info $30.98was $30.98 Buy Now

The Shoes Of The Fisherman... A stunning list of stars brings this tale of religion, power, politics and... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Rumpole Of The Bailey: Seasons 1 & 2... Leo McKern plays the rumpled but highly effective criminal defense attorney... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

Rumpole Of The Bailey: Seasons 3 & 4... And so comes another helping of inimitable RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY tales, where if... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

Rumpole Of The Bailey: The Complete Series... An immensely popular series broadcast on PBS from 1978 to 1992, RUMPOLE OF THE... more info $69.98was $69.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Reginald Mckern Died: July 23, 2002
Born: March 16, 1920 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Australia Profession: actor, radio writer, engineering apprentice

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Australian character actor in England since 1946. Popular character player of stage, TV and film, often in garrulous, blustery roles. Leo McKern was best known for playing Horace Rumpole in the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series for Thames TV, which began production in 1977 with sequential episodes produced on and off into the 90s. McKern's curmudgeonly barrister was popular in its American run under PBS' "Mystery!" banner as well. After some stage appearances in his native Australia, McKern arrived in Britain in 1946 and within a year was touring the provinces on stage. He made his London debut at the Old Vic in "Love's Labour's Lost" in 1949 as Forester, and went on to make numerous stage appearances through the 70s, and then sporadically into the 80s. Among his heralded roles were the title character in "Volpone," Iago in a 1963 production of "Othello" at the Old Vic, and Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" at the Oxford Playhouse (1973). McKern began appearing in films in 1962, playing a knight in "Murder in the Cathedral." It was not until 1966 that he won attention in the U.S. as the scheming Thomas Cromwell in "A Man For All Seasons," and in 1970, played Sarah Miles' father in "Ryan's Daughter."...

Australian character actor in England since 1946. Popular character player of stage, TV and film, often in garrulous, blustery roles. Leo McKern was best known for playing Horace Rumpole in the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series for Thames TV, which began production in 1977 with sequential episodes produced on and off into the 90s. McKern's curmudgeonly barrister was popular in its American run under PBS' "Mystery!" banner as well. After some stage appearances in his native Australia, McKern arrived in Britain in 1946 and within a year was touring the provinces on stage. He made his London debut at the Old Vic in "Love's Labour's Lost" in 1949 as Forester, and went on to make numerous stage appearances through the 70s, and then sporadically into the 80s. Among his heralded roles were the title character in "Volpone," Iago in a 1963 production of "Othello" at the Old Vic, and Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" at the Oxford Playhouse (1973). McKern began appearing in films in 1962, playing a knight in "Murder in the Cathedral." It was not until 1966 that he won attention in the U.S. as the scheming Thomas Cromwell in "A Man For All Seasons," and in 1970, played Sarah Miles' father in "Ryan's Daughter." In the latter, he was the mole for the Brits for whom his daughter takes the fall when it is revealed she has been having an affair with a British officer. McKern also played Bugenhagen the old exorcist in "The Omen" (1976) and its 1978 sequel. It was as Rumpole that McKern won his most lasting international regard, although the down-at-his-heels character was oft considered too literary even on British TV. Also on TV, McKern was #2 who takes Patrick McGoohan prisoner in "The Prisoner," an ethereal TV series which ran in 1967 in Britain and in 1968 on CBS in the U.S. He was also David Ben-Gurion, prime minister of Israel, in "The House on Garibaldi Street," a 1979 TV movie about the capture of Adolf Eichmann. Additionally, he played Gloucester in the 1984 rendition of "King Lear" presented by Lord Laurence Olivier. McKern wrote one radio play, "Chain of Events" and a 1983 memoir, "Just Resting."

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1998) Bishop Maigret
3.
 Foreign Field, A (1994) Cyril
4.
 Travelling North (1988) Frank
5.
 Agatha Christie's Murder With Mirrors (1985) Inspector Curry
6.
 Ladyhawke (1985) Imperius
7.
 Chain, The (1985) Thomas
8.
 Voyage of Bounty's Child (1983) Narration
9.
 Country (1981) Sir Frederick Carlion
10.
 The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) Dr Grogan
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1935:
Was engineering apprentice
:
Spent three years as artist
:
Served in Australian army
1944:
Made stage debut in Sydney, Australia
1946:
Moved to London
1949:
Made London stage debut with Old Vic Company
1952:
Film debut in small role in "Murder in the Cathedral"
1966:
Played Thomas Cromwell in "A Man For All Seasons"
:
Co-starred in the cult TV series "The Prisoner"
1968:
Earned praise for supporting turn in "The Shoes of the Fisherman"
1970:
Played Tom Ryan in "Ryan's Daughter"
:
Starred as Horace Rumpole in "Rumpole of the Bailey"; aired in USA on PBS
1979:
Played David Ben-Gurion in the ABC TV-movie "The House on Garibaldi Street"
1983:
Had featured role in the British miniseries "Reilly, Ace of Spies"
1999:
Acted in "Molokai: The Story of Father Damien"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jane Holland. Artist. Married 1946.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Norman Walton McKern.
mother:
Vera McKern.
daughter:
Abigail McKern.
daughter:
Harriet McKern.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Just Resting" Methuen

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute