Leo Mckern


Actor
Leo Mckern

About

Also Known As
Reginald Mckern
Birth Place
Australia
Born
March 16, 1920
Died
July 23, 2002

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 ...

Family & Companions

Jane Holland
Wife
Artist. Married 1946.

Bibliography

"Just Resting"
Leo McKern, Methuen (1983)

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." 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."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1998)
Bishop Maigret
Dad & Dave - On Our Selection (1995)
A Foreign Field (1994)
Travelling North (1988)
Frank
Ladyhawke (1985)
Agatha Christie's Murder With Mirrors (1985)
The Chain (1985)
Voyage of Bounty's Child (1983)
Narration
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
Dr Grogan
Country (1981)
Sir Frederick Carlion
The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Paddy Button
The Last Tasmanian (1979)
Narrator
House On Garibaldi Street (1979)
Damien - Omen II (1978)
The Nativity (1978)
Candleshoe (1977)
The Omen (1976)
The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
Massacre in Rome (1973)
Ryan's Daughter (1970)
Tom Ryan
Decline and Fall ... of a Bird Watcher (1969)
Captain Grimes
The High Commissioner (1968)
Flannery
The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
Cardinal Leone
Assignment K (1968)
Smith
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
Thomas Cromwell
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
Squint
Help! (1965)
Clang
Agent 8 3/4 (1965)
Simenova
Doctor in Distress (1964)
Heilbronn
King and Country (1964)
Captain O'Sullivan
They All Died Laughing (1964)
Professor Bowles-Ottery
Lisa (1962)
Brandt
I Like Money (1962)
Headmaster Muche
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1962)
Bill Maguire
Jazz Boat (1960)
Inspector
Scent of Mystery (1960)
Tommy Kennedy
Yesterday's Enemy (1959)
Max
The Mouse That Roared (1959)
Benter
Web Of Evidence (1959)
Mcevoy
A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
X the Unknown (1957)
Mr. "Mac" McGill
Time Without Pity (1957)
Robert Stanford
All For Mary (1955)
Gaston Nikopopoulos

Cast (Special)

Rumpole on Trial (1995)
Rumpole and the Miscarriage of Justice (1995)
Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle (1995)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Children of the Devil (1995)
Rumpole and the Family Pride (1995)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Reform of Joby Jonson (1995)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and Portia (1990)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Quality of Life (1990)
Horace Rumpole
The Master Builder (1990)
Solness
Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1989)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Barrow Boy (1989)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Tap End (1989)
Horace Rumpole
Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation (1989)
Horace Rumpole
Monsignor Quixote (1987)
Rumpole's Return (1984)
Horace Rumpole
King Lear (1984)
Gloucester
Rumpole of the Bailey, Series I (1980)

Cast (Short)

Ryan's Daughter (Featurette) (1970)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Good King Wenceslas (1994)

Life Events

1935

Was engineering apprentice

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"

1968

Earned praise for supporting turn in "The Shoes of the Fisherman"

1970

Played Tom Ryan in "Ryan's Daughter"

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"

Photo Collections

A Man for All Seasons - Movie Posters
A Man for All Seasons - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Ryan's Daughter (1970) - Good Luck To All Irishmen In Ireland during the First World War, widower schoolteacher Charles (Robert Mitchum) returning from Dublin, at the pub with Father Collins (Trevor Howard), Ryan (Leo McKern), McArdle (Archie O'Sullivan) and Brit soldiers, early in David Lean's Ryan's Daughter, 1970.
Ryan's Daughter (1970) - Is No One Going To Kiss The Bride? At their wedding party in rural Ireland, 1916, the bride Rosy (Sarah Miles) is overwhelmed by attention, especially outcast Michael (John Mills), rescued by Charles (Robert Mitchum) her widower husband, her father (Leo McKern) and the priest (Trevor Howard) monitoring, in David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter, 1970.
Jazz Boat (1960) - I'll Bleed All Over You Opening in south-east London, approaching Chislehurst Caves, James Booth as biker Spider leads “The Doll” (Anne Aubrey), Holy Mike, Jinks and “The Dancer” (David Lodge, Bernie Winters, Al Mulock), where they meet his dad (Liam Gaffney) taking tickets, in the crime-caper and Teddy-boy musical hybrid Jazz Boat, 1960, starring Anthony Newley.
Man For All Seasons, A (1966) - Pray By All Means! Summoned to see Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles), Thomas More (Paul Scofield) makes no apology for not helping the king seek another divorce, in Fred Zinnemann's Best Picture Academy Award winner, A Man For All Seasons, 1966.
Candleshoe (1977) - And A Red Ferrari L-A orphan Casey (Jodie Foster), discovered by an enterprising associate of con-man Harry Bundage's (Leo McKern) hears his pitch, then bargains for her end, early in Disney's Candleshoe, 1977.
Candleshoe (1977) - Two Teeny Weeny Lumps Con man Bundage (Leo McKern) and his recruited partner Casey (Jodie Foster) in their first meeting with their mark, the maybe-dotty Lady St. Edmund (Helen Hayes), her butler Priory (David Niven) already onto their game, in Disney's Candleshoe, 1977.
Man for All Seasons, A (1966) - Opening Sequence Majestic music by Georges Delerue accompanies the opening sequence and credits from the 1966 Best Picture winner A Man for All Seasons, directed by Fred Zinnemann, starring Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw and Leo McKern, from the play and screenplay by Robert Bolt.
Man for All Seasons, A (1966) - He Wants Another King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) and his party pretend their visit to Thomas More (Paul Scofield) is a surprise, his daughter (Susannah York) and wife (Wendy Hiller) acquiescing, in Fred Zinnemann's A Man For All Seasons, 1966, from the Robert Bolt play.
Mouse That Roared, The (1959) - Bankruptcy Or Prosperity! Peter Sellers (as both "The Grand Duchess" and "Count Mountjoy) proposes that the Duchy of Fenwick declare war on the United States, seconded by the opposition leader (Leo McKern) in The Mouse That Roared, 1959.
King & Country (1964) - Royal Fellowship Of Death Arresting opening from director Joseph Losey, with the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park and its quote from Henry V, from the World War I drama King & Country, 1964, starring Tom Courtenay and Dirk Bogarde.
Shoes Of The Fisherman, The (1968) -- God Has Given Him Back The attending cardinals are Leo McKern and Vittorio De Sica, as Russian Archbishop Lakota (Anthony Quinn), just freed from a Siberian labor camp, is received by the (nameless) sitting pope (John Gielgud), in Shoes Of The Fisherman, 1968.
Yesterday's Enemy - Sitting Target Before the credits, introduction of Capt. Langford (Stanley Baker), Sgt. McKenzie (Gordon Jackson), et al, in a Burmese swamp, in the Columbia/Hammer Films co-production Yesterday's Enemy, 1959.

Trailer

Family

Norman Walton McKern
Father
Vera McKern
Mother
Abigail McKern
Daughter
Harriet McKern
Daughter

Companions

Jane Holland
Wife
Artist. Married 1946.

Bibliography

"Just Resting"
Leo McKern, Methuen (1983)