Leonard Rossiter was born on October 21st, 1926 in Liverpool. Unable to afford to go to university, he worked in an insurance office until he was 27, when he joined Preston repertory company and made his professional stage debut in "The Gay Dog". After Preston, he starred in productions at Wolverhampton, Salisbury and The Old Vic Company at Bristol's Theatre Royal. In 1962, he made his first big-screen appearance in A Kind of Loving (1962), followed by other films throughout the 1960s, including Billy Liar (1963) and TV appearances such as Z Cars (1962), The Avengers (1961) and Steptoe and Son (1962). His portrayal of "Adolf Hitler" in the 1969 play, "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui", made him a West End star. His roles as "Rigsby" in Rising Damp (1974) and the title role in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) made him a household name, and his Cinzano commercials with Joan Collins were comic masterpieces. A keen sportsman, he excelled in squash, tennis and football. He was also a connoisseur of fine wines. His busy career came to a tragically premature end on October 5th 1984, just sixteen days short of his 58th birthday. During a performance of Joe Orton's play "Loot", Leonard suffered a heart attack in his dressing room. He was married to actress Gillian Raine and had a daughter, Camilla.
- Dr. Andrei Smyslov
- Reginald Perrin
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