Leo McKern

Leo McKern

Highest Rated: 90% The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Lowest Rated: 8% The Blue Lagoon (1980)

Birthday: Mar 16, 1920

Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australian character actor in England since 1946. Popular character player of stage, TV and film, often in garrulous, blustery roles. Leo McKern was best known for playing Horace Rumpole in the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series for Thames TV, which began production in 1977 with sequential episodes produced on and off into the 90s. McKern's curmudgeonly barrister was popular in its American run under PBS' "Mystery!" banner as well. After some stage appearances in his native Australia, McKern arrived in Britain in 1946 and within a year was touring the provinces on stage. He made his London debut at the Old Vic in "Love's Labour's Lost" in 1949 as Forester, and went on to make numerous stage appearances through the 70s, and then sporadically into the 80s. Among his heralded roles were the title character in "Volpone," Iago in a 1963 production of "Othello" at the Old Vic, and Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" at the Oxford Playhouse (1973). McKern began appearing in films in 1962, playing a knight in "Murder in the Cathedral." It was not until 1966 that he won attention in the U.S. as the scheming Thomas Cromwell in "A Man For All Seasons," and in 1970, played Sarah Miles' father in "Ryan's Daughter." In the latter, he was the mole for the Brits for whom his daughter takes the fall when it is revealed she has been having an affair with a British officer. McKern also played Bugenhagen the old exorcist in "The Omen" (1976) and its 1978 sequel. It was as Rumpole that McKern won his most lasting international regard, although the down-at-his-heels character was oft considered too literary even on British TV. Also on TV, McKern was #2 who takes Patrick McGoohan prisoner in "The Prisoner," an ethereal TV series which ran in 1967 in Britain and in 1968 on CBS in the U.S. He was also David Ben-Gurion, prime minister of Israel, in "The House on Garibaldi Street," a 1979 TV movie about the capture of Adolf Eichmann. Additionally, he played Gloucester in the 1984 rendition of "King Lear" presented by Lord Laurence Olivier. McKern wrote one radio play, "Chain of Events" and a 1983 memoir, "Just Resting."


Highest Rated Movies



63% 76% Molokai Bishop Maigret (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Circles of Deceit: Sleeping Dogs Alexander Petrov (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet 60% Dad and Dave: On Our Selection Dad Rudd (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Good King Wenceslas Duke Phillip (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet 68% A Foreign Field Cyril (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Travelling North Frank (Character) $8.6K 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Monsignor Quixote Sancho Zancas (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet 48% Murder With Mirrors Inspector Curry (Character) - 1985
67% 74% Ladyhawke Father Imperius (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Voyage of Bounty's Child Narrator - 1984
No Score Yet 67% The Chain Thomas (Character) - 1984
No Score Yet 62% King Lear Gloucester (Character) - 1983
79% 67% The French Lieutenant's Woman Dr. Grogan (Character) - 1981
8% 54% The Blue Lagoon Paddy Button (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet 67% The House on Garibaldi Street David Ben-Gurion (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet 71% Candleshoe Bundage (Character) - 1977
86% 80% The Omen Carl Bugenhagen (uncredited) (Character) - 1976
71% 57% The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Moriarty (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 36% Massacre in Rome Gen. Kurt Maelzer (Character) - 1973
50% 73% Ryan's Daughter Thomas Ryan (Character) - 1970
43% 75% The Shoes of the Fisherman Cardinal Leone (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet Decline and Fall... of a Bird Watcher Capt. Grimes (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet No Score Yet Assignment K Smith (Character) - 1968
83% 87% A Man for All Seasons Thomas Cromwell (Character) - 1966
No Score Yet 45% The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders Squint (Character) - 1965
88% 86% Help! Clang (Character) - 1965
No Score Yet 33% Doctor in Distress Harry Heilbronn (Character) - 1964
86% 78% King and Country Capt. O'Sullivan (Character) - 1964
No Score Yet 37% Agent 8 3/4 Simoneva (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Jolly Bad Fellow Professor Kerris Bowles-Ottery (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet They All Died Laughing Professor Kerris Bowles-Ottery (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Horse Without a Head Roublot (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet 33% Lisa Brandt (Character) - 1962
40% No Score Yet I Like Money Muche (Character) - 1962
85% 85% The Day the Earth Caught Fire Bill Maguire (Character) - 1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet Jazz Boat Inspector (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Web of Evidence McEvoy (Character) - 1959
90% 73% The Mouse That Roared Benter (Character) - 1959
No Score Yet No Score Yet Beyond This Place McEvoy (Character) - 1959
No Score Yet No Score Yet Yesterday's Enemy Max (Character) - 1959
No Score Yet 45% A Tale of Two Cities Attorney General-Old Bailey (Character) - 1958
No Score Yet 77% Time Without Pity Robert Stanford (Character) - 1957
60% 44% X the Unknown Insp. McGill (Character) - 1956


No Score Yet No Score Yet Rumpole of the Bailey Horace Rumpole (Character) 1991-1992 1987-1988 1983 1978-1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Adventures of Robin Hood Herbert of Doncaster (Guest Star) 1955


Paddy Button says: (chasing Richard and Em) Come back here and put your clothes on!

Young Richard says: I don't wanna wear my old britches!

Paddy Button says: It ain't proper to be runnin' 'round naked...

Paddy Button says: (stops, out of breath)

Paddy Button says: ...all the time!

Young Richard says: Where are we? (after their lifeboat ran around on the island and Paddy hopped out of the boat and marched up the beach)

Young Richard says: Where are we?

Paddy Button says: Nirvana! That's where we are.

Young Emmeline says: (looking at a picture of a family) Paddy, what's subjugation?

Young Emmeline says: Paddy, what's subjugation?

Paddy Button says: Something I've been trying to avoid all my life.

Paddy Button says: Those are never wake up berries

Paddy Button says: Those are never wake up berries.