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Lionel Jeffries (1926 -- 2010)

Born in Forest Hill, London, Lionel Jeffries was trained at RADA, before starting his successful career in acting, directing and screenwriting.

The writer and director of the family classic The Railway Children (1970) and several other family films, Jeffries enjoyed a successful acting career too. He was Golden Globe-nominated as Best Actor for his role as Stanley Farquhar in The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966). He was bald from the age of 19 and, therefore, often played roles older than he was in real life - such as Dick Van Dyke's father in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) even though he was actually six months younger than Van Dyke!

Jeffries began his film career in Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1949). But he made his first real impression as one of the prisoners-of-war in Guy Hamilton's The Colditz Story (1954). After that he appeared in many films throughout the 50's and 60's, including Two Way Stretch, Up the Creek and Blue Murder at St. Trinian's.