57 (passed away Oct. 5th, 1984)
Oct. 21st, 1926
Liverpool, England, UK
Leonard Rossiter's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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," "The Avengers" and "Steptoe and Son." 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.
- Leonard was left handed, as can be seen during an episode of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
- Well-known for his strict professionalism and competitive streak. He was a perfectionist when it came to acting, and was known to be a difficult actor to work with despite his affectionate and flamboyant personality.
- Died of heart attack in his dressing room during a performance of 'Loot'.
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