Ronald Lacey

Ronald Lacey

55 (passed away May. 15th, 1991)
Sep. 28th, 1935
Born in
Harrow, London, England, UK

Ronald Lacey's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Porridge (UK) TV Show
Porridge (UK)
In Loving Memory (UK) TV Show
In Loving Memory (UK)
Jason King (UK) TV Show
Jason King (UK)
The Adventures of Don Quick (UK) TV Show
The Adventures of Don Quick (UK)
Haunted (UK) TV Show
Haunted (UK)
Tropic (UK) TV Show
Tropic (UK)
Unnatural Causes (UK) TV Show
Unnatural Causes (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Ronald Lacey was born on June 18, 1935 in the suburbs of London. He began his career in 1961 after a brief stint in the Royal service. He attended The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. His first notable performance was delivered at The Royal Court in 1962's "Chips With Everything". Lacey had an unusual pug look with beady eyes and cherub's cheeks which landed him repeatedly in bizarre roles on both stage and screen. However it was his unforgettable demonic smile and peculiar Peter Lorre (I) mannerisms that would bring Lacey a short period of fame in Hollywood. After performing on British television throughout the 1960's and 1970's, Lacey finally landed the role for which these characteristics could be used to full advantage. In 1981 he was cast as the villainous Nazi henchman in 'Steven Spielberg' 's widescreen blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) He followed this with a series of various villainous roles for the next five to six years: Firefox (1982) with 'Clint Eastwood', Sahara (1983) with Brooke Shields, and Red Sonja (1985) with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lacey turned in two hilarious cinematic performances in full drag (Disney's Trenchcoat (1983) with Margot Kidder from 1982 and Invitation to the Wedding (1985) from 1985 - in which he played a husband/wife couple!). Sadly his career began to wane in the late eighties and Lacey died in London of liver failure on May 15, 1991. A tremendous talent with great depth and many facets, Ronald Lacey will be remembered best for his small but significant role as the dapper yet psychotic Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

  • Being of Welsh decent, he owned a family cottage in Wales which was passed on to his three children after his death. The family would spend their holidays together at the cottage.
  • Wife Joanna Baker pre-deceased him.
  • Disappointed with his acting career by the late 70s, he began to consider starting a talent agency. Spielberg then cast him as the sadistic Nazi villain, Toht, in _Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)_ (qv) and after basking in the afterglow of the film's blockbuster success, the classically-trained character actor quickly changed his mind.
  • Lacey was known for his trademark smile which oft-times turned into a gleaming malicious leer as he played a number of wicked roles. He also had a rather large mole on his left cheek which he chose not to have removed. The mole gave his sinister characterizations extra dimension as it was quite large. In 1982's _Trenchcoat (1983)_ (qv) (opposite 'Margot Kidder' (qv)) he used the mole as a beauty mark in his role as Princess Aida, a mysterious and sleazy drag queen on the island of Malta.
  • Father of actress 'Rebecca Lacey' (qv) and actor 'Jonathan Lacey (I)' (qv).
  • Was also a stage director and drama teacher.
  • His daughter, Rebecca, became a television success on the BBC's long-running _"Casualty" (1986)_ (qv) series (a dramatic soap opera somewhat comparable to ER).
  • He was known for his generosity and warmth to fans but equally known in the London Theatre scene for having a great fondness for drinking and smoking. Often the actor was noted amongst the gossip pages as having been seen indulging at various functions and developing a bit of a reputation of raising more than just a few eyebrows in his direction.

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