Leo McKern, the rubbery-face character actor who won fans for playing the TV role of the tobacco-loving, blustery barrister, "Rumpole of the Bailey," died July 22 in Bath, England, of natural causes.
The Sydney, Australia native was 82, and had a career on the London stage in Shakespeare, Chekhov and Ibsen roles prior to success on film (including in "Help!" with the Beatles) and TV. The 44-episode "Rumpole" series, playing occasionally between the mid-1970s and 1992, mixed comedy with court cases and was a hit in Britain, and around the world. It was seen in the U.S. on PBS.
Mr. McKern's film credits include "Murder in the Cathedral," "The Blue Lagoon," "A Tale of Two Cities," "The Mouse That Roared" and "A Man for All Seasons."
The actor, who had lost an eye at the age of 15, first performed on stage in Sydney in 1944. He moved to England after serving in World War II. At the Old Vic in London, Mr. McKern appeared in Love's Labours Lost in 1949. He performed many classical roles. He was also seen at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.