A sad-faced character player of stage and screen often cast in comic or seriocomic roles, Ron Moody is best recalled for portraying Fagin, the adult leader of a pickpocket gang, in both the 1960 London stage and 1968 feature film versions of "Oliver!." He went on to play Uriah Heep in the 1970 NBC version of "David Copperfield" and Ippoli Vorobyaninov, the clerk of noble birth searching for his family fortune in "The Twelve Chairs" (1970). But Moody never seemed to land meaty roles again and his feature film and TV appearances became more sporadic in the 80s and 90s. He died on June 11, 2015 at the age of 91.
Moody originally studied sociology at the London School of Economics before turning to acting. He debuted onstage in 1952 with a small role in "Intimacy at Eight" at the New Lindsey Theatre in London. Other roles followed, but it was not until playing Fagin in "Oliver!" in 1960 that he became a star. Attempting to showcase his multiple talents, Moody not only starred in but also wrote the book and score for "Joey" (1962). He subsequently played Captain Hook and Mr. Darling in "Peter Pan" and twice revived his most famous, Oscar-nominated role as Fagin: in 1966 in London and Los Angeles and in 1984 in London and NYC.
His feature film work began with a small role in 1958's "Davy." Moody went on to portray the prime minister of a small country that conquered America in "Mouse on the Moon" (1963), co-starring with Margaret Rutherford. She later played Miss Marple to Moody's head of a repertory company in Agatha Christie's "Murder Most Foul" (1964). Moody has also twice played Merlin, King Arthur's famed wizard, in "The Unidentified Flying Oddball" (1979) and in "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" (1995).
Moody appeared in the unsuccessful American sitcom "Nobody's Perfect" (ABC, 1980) as a Scotland Yard detective assigned to the San Francisco police department. He was cast in the role of a roguish proprietor of an elegant nightclub in the pilot for the 1981 ABC adventure series "Tales of the Gold Monkey," but chose not to repeat the role when the series was picked up. (Moody was succeeded by Roddy McDowell.) He went on to appear in the CBS miniseries "The Word" (1978) and in such TV-movies as the small screen remake of "Dial M For Murder" (NBC, 1981) and in the title role of "A Ghost in Monte Carlo" (TNT, 1990). Moody became familiar to young audiences doing voice roles in the children's animated series "The Animals of Farthing Wood" (BBC 1993-95), then as Merlin in "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" (1995). After portraying King Herod in biblical adventure "The 3 Kings" (2000) and Sir Isaac Newton in the fantasy "Revelation" (2001), Moody starred in the comedy-drama "Lost Dogs" (2005), his final major role. Ron Moody died on June 11, 2015 at the age of 91.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
London stage debut "Intimacy at Eight"
Feature film debut, "Davy"
First played the role of Fagin in the Lionel Bart musical "Oliver!" in London's West End
Wrote and starred in the musical "Joey" at the Old Vic in Bristol
Repeated stage role of Fagin in film version of "Oliver!", directed by Carol Reed; earned Best Actor Oscar nomination
Portrayed Uriah Heep in NBC version of "David Copperfield"; released theatrically in Europe
Co-starred in Mel Brooks' "The Twelve Chairs"
First directed for the stage, "Saturnalia"; also composed score
Made American stage debut playing Fagin in "Oliver!" in Los Angeles and San Francisco
Wrote and composed the score for the stage musical "The Showman"
US TV miniseries debut, "The Word" (CBS)
Cast as Merlin in "The Unidentified Flying Oddball"
Starred in the American sitcom "Nobody's Perfect" (ABC)
Co-starred in the ABC adventure series "Tales of the Gold Monkey"
Again played Fagin in a revival of "Oliver!", first in London and later in a brief Broadway run
Had another go at Merlin in the Disney film "A Kid in King Arthur's Court"
Starred in the comedy-drama "Lost Dogs," his final major role.