- Star was nominated for best actor Oscar in 1968 for performance in film
- He died in hospital today but was ‘singing until the end’, his family say
Steph Cockroft for MailOnline
05:06 EST, 11 June 2015
05:19 EST, 11 June 2015
Actor Ron Moody, who played Fagin in the hit film version of Oliver!, has died aged 91.
The star, who was nominated for the best actor Oscar in 1968 for his performance in the Charles Dickens adaptation, died in hospital today.
His agent said Mr Moody, who died in hospital, had been ill for some time.
Actor Ron Moody, who played Fagin in the hit film version of Oliver! (left and right), has died aged 91
His widow Therese said: ‘He brought joy to his family and to the hearts of many and will be greatly missed. He was singing until the end.’
Moody won a Golden Globe for his performance as the somewhat loveable, elderly crook in the film.
In 2010, Moody appeared on stage at the end of a performance of the revival of Oliver! and made a humorous speech about the show’s 50th anniversary, before reprising the song for which he is famed – ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ – with the cast.
For young audiences, he will be best known as playing the legendary wizard Merlin in Disney’s A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.
Born Ronald Moodnick to eastern European immigrants in Tottenham, north London, his father changed the family surname to Moody in 1930, but he said Judaism played a large part in his life.
In 2010, he told the JC that the way he sang tunes like ‘You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two’ was inspired by the religious singing style of chazanut.
An observant Jew who for most of his life kept kosher and belonged to New North London Synagogue, Mr Moody volunteered for the Royal Air Force in the Second World War as a radar mechanic.
He acted late into his life, appearing on the recurring BBC dramas Casualty and Holby City in the last few years.
He leaves behind his wife, Therese Blackbourn Moody, and their six children.