Birthday: January 8, 1924
Died At Age: 91
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Ronald Moodnick
Born Country: England
Born in: Tottenham, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
Famous as: Actor
Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Therese Blackbourn (m. 1985)
father: Bernard Moodnick
mother: Kate Ogus
children: Daniel Moody, Jonathan Barnaby Moody
Died on: June 11, 2015
place of death: London, England, United Kingdom
education: London School of Economics
Who was Ron Moody?
Ron Moody was an English actor, singer, composer, and author, best known for his role of Fagin in ‘Oliver!’, both in the movie and stage production. Being the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, his father anglicised the family name when he was five. He joined RAF at the age of eighteen and served there for four years as radar mechanic before joining London School of Economics to study sociology and psychology. Initially, he wanted to become an economist but when he took part in student revues, he was hooked-up on acting. He then became a top stand-up comedian in England before making his professional stage debut in 1952 in revue entitled ‘Intimacy at Eight’. His theatrical musical debut was in 1959 in West End production ‘Candide’ followed by the unforgettable role of Fagin, in ‘Oliver!’ He created the role in the original West End production in 1960 and reprised it in the 1968 movie and its Broadway Revival. He got small but consistent work in TV series, movies, and stage productions. In 1985, he married Pilates teacher, Therese Blackbourn and they had six children together. On 11 June 2015, he died in a London Hospital due to natural causes.
Childhood & Early Life
Ron Moody was born as Ronald Moodnick on 8 January 1924, in Tottenham, Middlesex, England, UK to Kate (née Ogus) and Bernard Moodnick who was a studio executive.
His mother belonged to Lithuanian Jewish descent, and his father was of Russian-Jewish background. His father being the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, anglicised the family name in 1930
He went to Southgate County School in Palmers Green, Middlesex. He attended London School of Economics in Central London where he trained to be an economist or sociologist but then decided to pursue acting as career.
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After school, Ron Moody found employment as an accounts clerk at the British National Studios at Elstree before joining Royal Air Force during World War II. He served there as radar technician for four years before moving to London School of Economics.
While pursuing his training at London School of Economics he took part in student musical comedy revue and decided to become an actor. After spending several years as improvisational stand-up comedian, he made his professional stage debut in 1952 in revue ‘Intimacy at Eight’.
After being the revue regular for some years, his first taste of stardom came with the London Company of Leonard Bernstein's ‘Candide’ in 1959. It led him to the role of Fagin, in the musical version of ‘Oliver Twist’ simply entitled ‘Oliver!’, in 1960.
He wrote the musical ‘Joey’ (1962) and performed in it as Joe Grimaldi before making appearances in TV series ‘The Mouse on the Moon’ (1963) and ‘Murder Most Foul’ (1964).
In 1968, he reprised the role of Fagin in movie ‘Oliver!’ followed by another successful role in television version of Charles Dickens's ‘David Copperfield’ (1969). His film credits include ‘The Twelve Chairs’ (1970), ‘Legend of the Werewolf’ (1975), and ‘Unidentified Flying Oddball’ (1979).
In 1984, he again reprised the role of Fagin in its Broadway revival and in 1985, he performed it at the Royal Variety Performance in Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in front of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
He appeared in several children TV series including, ‘Into the Labyrinth’ (1981) and provided the voice for all the male characters except “Bug” in the‘The Telebugs’ (1986). His stage work includes several outings as Mr. Darling/Captain Hook in ‘Peter Pan’ and title role in ‘Sherlock Holmes – The Musical’ (1989).
He also appeared in ‘Emily's Ghost’ (1992), ‘A Kid in King Arthur's Court’ (1995), ‘Paradise Grove’ (2003) and ‘Lost Dogs’ (2005) before making appearance in BBC1's ‘Casualty’ (aired on 30 January 2010). On 30 June 2010, he reprised the ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ number of ‘Oliver!’ with the cast on show's 50th anniversary.
Ron Moody’s fame came from portraying Fagin in ‘Oliver!’ for which he received many awards including Best Actor Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award for 1968 film, as well as a Tony Award nomination for the 1984 stage production.
Family & Personal Life
Ron Moody married a pilates teacher named Therese Blackbourn in 1985. Together they had six children; the youngest was a daughter he fathered at the age of seventy-three.
On 11 June 2015, he died due to natural causes in a London hospital.
Ron Moody was the cousin of director Laurence Moody and actress Clare Lawrence.
In 1969, he was offered the lead role in the popular BBC series ‘Doctor Who’ after the departure of Patrick Troughton which he declined and later subsequently regretted the decision.