Ron Moody (born 8 January 1924) is a British actor, best known for his Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated performance as Fagin in Oliver! and (mainly to younger audiences) as the legendary wizard Merlin in Disney's A Kid in King Arthur's Court.
Moody was born in Tottenham, Middlesex (now part of Greater London), England, the son of Kate (née Ogus) and Bernard Moodnick, a studio executive. His father was a Russian Jew and his mother was a Lithuanian Jew — said Moody, "I'm 100% Jewish — totally kosher!" He is a cousin of director Laurence Moody and actress Clare Lawrence. His surname was legally changed to Moody in 1930.
Moody was educated at Southgate County School, which at the time was a state grammar school, and based in Palmers Green, Middlesex, followed by the London School of Economics in Central London, where he trained to become a sociologist. During World War II he enlisted in the RAF and became a radar technician.
Despite training to be a sociologist, Moody began appearing in theatrical shows and later decided to become a professional actor.
Moody has worked in a variety of genres, but is perhaps best known for his starring role as Fagin in Lionel Bart's stage and film musical Oliver! based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. He created the role in the original West End production in 1960, and reprised it in the 1984 Broadway revival, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. For his performance in the 1968 film version, he received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor (Musical/Comedy), the Best Actor award at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor...
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