Actor who originated the role of the lovable villain Fagin in the play Oliver!, for which he received a Tony nomination as well as a Golden Globe Award and Oscar nomination for the 1968 film adaptation.
He was a radar technician in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He planned on becoming an economist or sociologist, and didn't begin acting until age twenty-nine.
He was offered, but declined, the lead role in Doctor Who in 1969, though he went on to appear in the series EastEnders and the films The Twelve Chairs and Paradise Grove.
His cousins were director Laurence Moody and actress Clare Lawrence. In 1985, he married pilates instructor Therese Blackbourn, and they had six children.
He co-starred with Frank Langella in the 1970 film The Twelve Chairs.