Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Chef, Feb 20, 2010.
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Just read that he's died at 83. Burma Star holder and great actor.
Until I heard yesterday, I had assumed he had died years ago - based on my recollection of him playing the 'grandfather' in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It turns out that he was a couple of years younger than Dick Van Dyke, who played his son in the film!
I remember first seeing him in 1964 as the wonderfully eccentric Joseph Cavor in 'The First Men in the Moon'. I thought he was 'getting on a bit' even then. Good trailer here.
A great actor and a director and he featured in some of the great films of the fifties and the sixties.
Though IMHO, two exceptions which were Lust for Life (that pile of toenail clippings about van Gogh and Gauguin) and Chitty Chitty (sodding) Bang Bang.
Christ, I thought he died years ago.
He was YOUNGER than Dick Van Dyke? Figures I suppose, most people probably are.
What about "Two Way Stretch" with Peter Sellers where Jeffries played a Prison Officer of a distinctly Military bent, an early prototype for Mr. Mackay in "Porridge" I've always thought. He also appeared in The Colditz Story as a Guards officer, there's that scene where he and another inmate(Richard Allis?) put on a drill display to distract the "Goons" while (I think?) John Mills makes an escape attempt.
Sad news, he really was a wonderful actor.
I had no idea he was awarded the Burma Star! He must have been quite a man!
Lionel Jeffries served in the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry and awarded the Burma Star in World War II. He later played Harry Tyler in The Colditz Story- a film in which the majority of actors had served in the war. I particularly liked the part where he drills Ian Carmichael (22nd Dragoons) and Richard Wattis (RAMC during his service) as a diversion for an escape attempt- ' They're the Guards, nobody in the world drills like the Guards'.
In that clip all are ex forces; Cribbins ex Para, Jeffries ex Ox and Bucks LI and David Lodge and Peter Sellers both ex RAF.
Richard Wattis, thats him, a tall thin item in NHS specs IIRC. Didn't realise Lionel was ex-OBLI, I had read somewhere that they had a Bn. in Burma, never read anything about it though.
You obviously know F**k all about campaign medals then?
You just gotta see Two way stretch (1960.b\w) to see Jeffries at his best as the new chief prison officer of Huntley prison.
Directed a few classics as well (The railway children and The amazing Mr.Blunden)
A brilliant British actor/Director. They do not or can not make them like this anymore!
R.I.P Lionel Jeffries, you sure brought a lot of smiles to many faces Sir.
He was such a good actor and so comfortable in every part he played, that many people took him for granted. Just one example when along with Sellers, Cribbins and Co, he made 'The Wrong Arm of the Law' into a top class Brit comedy. RIP Lionel.
From the Telegraph
In 1945 he was commissioned into the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, serving first in Burma (where he worked for the Rangoon radio station) and later as a captain in the Royal West African Frontier Force.
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