Leonard Rossiter, the man who would be Rigsby and Reggie was born in Liverpool on October 21, 1926. He was unable to afford a university education so ended up working in an insurance office before being bitten by the acting bug. His experience started offstage, however, with his tenure as an assistant stage manager of a repertory company in the northern town of Preston. He eventually moved to London and began working in the theatre during the late 50s.
Rossiter worked with some of the best in his long and distinguished career. Stanley Kubrick directed him in 2001: A Space Odyssey and again in Barry Lyndon. He co- starred with Malcolm McDowell as a stressed out hospital administrator in Lindsay Anderson’s satirical Brittania Hospital.
His impish grin and twinkling eyes made Rossiter a natural for comedy, and even in supporting roles he was always able to stand out. His humor was always accompanied by a great deal of humanity and intelligence, giving him a depth and range rare among comedy performers.
His career began in the theatre and sadly, ended there as well. On October 5, 1984, he was performing in Joe Orton’s play Loot at the Lyric Theatre and when he failed to show up for his cue was found dead of a heart attack in his dressing room. British theater, movies and television sadly lost a performer who was truly one of a kind.