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Creator / Leo McKern

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Reginald "Leo" McKern, AO (16 March 1920 23 July 2002) was an Australian actor who appeared in numerous British, Australian and American television programmes and films, and in more than 200 stage roles. He is most famous for playing the title role in Rumpole of the Bailey from 1978 to 1992 (having first played the role in an episode of Play for Today in 1975). He was also the most remembered of the multiple Number Twos to appear in The Prisoner (1967).

McKern was born in Sydney. He left school at a young age and worked in a factory where he suffered an accident which resulted in the loss of his left eye when he was 15. During World War II, he served as a sapper in the Australian Army's Royal Australian Engineers.

He made his stage debut in Sydney in 1944. Having fallen in love with Australian actress Jane Holland, McKern moved to the United Kingdom to be with her, and they married in 1946. He became a member the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (now the Royal Shakespeare Company) in Stratford-upon-Avon, and won accolades for many of his roles, despite the difficulties imposed by having a Glass Eye and an Australian accent. He made his film debut in Murder in the Cathedral in 1952, and his television debut in The March of the Peasants (also in 1952).

Working until 1999, McKern died in a nursing home in Bath in 2002.

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