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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Your tributes: Leo McKern
Leo McKern
Leo McKern played Horace Rumpole in the popular series
Your tributes for Australian-born character actor Leo McKern, who has died aged 82.
A veteran of stage and screen he will be best remembered for his role as the truculent barrister Rumpole of the Bailey.

One of the best, he'll be missed.
Steve, England

A fine actor and a sad loss. RIP
Juliet Danes, England

A great man. I enjoyed watching him no matter the genre for I knew an extraordinary performance was to be seen.
Gregg Barkley, USA

My lasting memory of dear Rumpole is that of him directing me to a vacant parking space in Sainsburys Supermarket at Bath - and he did it with such aplomb - as you can imagine!!
RLShepherd, UK

I will miss his silent thoughts of she who must be obeyed. May God receive you with open arms Leo, as his gain is our loss.
Nick Philip, Canada

Leo McKern was the man in The Prisoner.
Swiss Tim, UK

Sad news that we've lost one of the warmest actors. His contribution to The Prisoner should not go unrecognised; his character Number 2 was one that all other actors taking the part were judged against. He will be missed.
Gareth, England

He was a terrifying presence on stage and a gentle kind man at the back of it

Neil Bloom, UK
The passing of another treasure. I lament the fact that my own country cannot produce a combined body of work such as the Rumpole series by Mr. Mortimer or an actor of such talent that he absolutely becomes the role, such as Mr. McKern. This evening we will recall the Penge Bungalow murders and how Rumpole carried it off alone and without a leader.
Andrew Curthoys, USA

I agree with Gareth. The penultimate episode of the Prisoner which is an hour set in one room with just Leo McKern and Patrick McGoohan bouncing ideas off each other is one of the most intense and surreal pieces of acting I've ever seen. Another great actor is gone.
Rick, England

I had the pleasure to meet this great man when I was a schoolboy. He was playing Iago at the Old Vic. My sister played Bianca and Eric Thompson (Magic Roundabout and Emma's Dad) played Cassio. He was a terrifying presence on stage and a gentle, kind man at the back of it. Some 40 years have passed since I met him for that one and only time. Not to be forgotten then or now!
Neil Bloom, England

It is entirely due to Leo's portrayal of Rumpole that I decided to pursue a legal career

Teresa, UK
A great man, fantastic actor. Never to be forgotten in his roles particularly in Rumpole and The Prisoner. Our loss, Heaven's gain.
Deanna LeCoyte, England

The best number 2 in The Prisoner, he will be missed.
Dan, Cheshire, UK

My condolences to his family and friends. A wonderful actor and lovely man. He will be very much missed. Nobody else could have done Rumpole like him. A very watchable actor.
Dee Lamb, UK

It is entirely due to Leo's portrayal of Rumpole that I decided to pursue a legal career.
Teresa, UK

I'll always remember him for line evoked when referring to his wife as, "She who must be obeyed." Wise words, indeed.
Patrick McGarry, USA

Far more than just an actor, as an active member of the UKIP, he will be sadly missed... We won't "be seeing you!" anymore.
Rob McWhirter, UK

A classical actor who will never be replaced!

Leigh Higgins, UK
A one-off, there will never be another like him! Sadly missed.
Chris Stevens, England

Great actor, we'll miss.
Melissa, US

Rumpole WAS Leo McKern. John Mortimer created the character for him and it is impossible to imagine any other physiognomy or personality in the role, whether reading or watching.

McKern did much excellent work in the theatre and on film, but Rumpole is one of the great comic creations of the 20th century and it will be this that will remember him with so much affection.
Mark, UK

A classical actor who will never be replaced! He brought warmth with his acting and pleasure to those who watched him.
Leigh Higgins, UK

I just arrived at work today and was gutted to learn the sad news. As I child, I had loved Mr McKern in the video of Help!, and as I grew older was thrilled to discover Rumpole, as well as his brilliant turns in The Prisoner and all the other roles to which he brought such sly wit.

Young actors of today need to watch and learn from this master for there are few performers who are as dynamic and versatile as him

Carrie, USA
When the title credits of a film came on the screen, it was always with great joy that I exclaimed "Oh, it has Leo McKern!" I shall truly miss his presence, and I offer my sincerest sympathy to his family. It is a great loss.
Miya Berry, UK, studying in US

My first school theatre trip in 1964 was to the Nottingham playhouse to see him in a courtroom drama. I have followed him since.
Pat Brockman, England

Mr McKern was one of the most talented performers of our time. I will miss old Rumpole and his wonderfully intellectual games with British law. His performance in Ryan's Daughter is incredible and real. McKern was an actor's actor and very few of these people exist in the art today. Young actors of today need to watch and learn from this master for there are few performers who are as dynamic and versatile as him. My condolences to his family.
Carrie, USA

Whenever I read any of the Rumpole stories it is Leo McKern's voice that sings the words back to me as I chuckle along. Sad that all I will now have is the many episodes I recorded over the years. I wonder what Rumpole would have made of Mr Blunkett's latest attacks on " the golden thread that runs through British justice".
David Hill, UK

Quite simply, he was Rumpole

Theresa Knight, England
When I was running a small AOL site about the TV Universe, I wrote up an essay detailing the theory that Horace Rumpole and Number Two were brothers.

His performance in "The Prisoner" for three episodes indelibly marked me as a life-long fan.

He had a great, playful delivery of a line that transcended even his lesser works.

Another role to mention - Professor Moriarty in "Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother". Without him that movie would have been a total loss.
Toby O'B, USA, (TV Land!)

My husband and I thought he was great in Rumpole and absolutely wonderful doing comedy in the Beatles second movie, Help!. He will not be forgotten.
Susan Drexler, USA

I am saddened to hear of the death of Leo McKern. As several others have mentioned here, he was, amongst his many other roles, the definitive "Number Two" of The Prisoner. Truly a wonderful actor.
Susan Paxton, USA

Whenever I read my collection of Rumpole books, I can imagine Leo McKern talking. Quite simply, he was Rumpole.
Theresa Knight, England

Who is Number One? Leo McKern, that's who

Rex, UK
One of the warmest and gently charismatic actors I have ever watched. His Rumpole could never be beaten.
Henry Playfoot, UK

Leo McKern provided millions with joy as Rumpole. He was great in every role he played. He made a great New Number Two.
Jay Peterson, USA

Who is Number One? Leo McKern, that's who.
Rex, London, UK

What a great character actor Leo McKern was. It's sad to hear he has died. Leo excelled as Rumpole, but I remember him fondly in such shows as The Prisoner, and movies such as Omen 2. He will be greatly missed.
John, Whitley Bay, UK

A talented and skilled actors' actor. Always a delightful Rumpole. Will always remember him fondly with a smile.
Gary Cavasos, USA

Leo McKern had every good quality you could ever expect. His timing and delivery were faultless. He took John Mortimer's Rumpole and gave him life, wit and pathos. He wasn't too bad in other roles. Such talents, a huge loss.
John, Bradford, UK

Whether in Shakespeare, Ibsen, The Prisoner or Rumpole, he always made the part his own

John, UK
Yes, have to agree about his role as No. 2 in The Prisoner - excellent. He'll be missed.
Dave, London, UK

He will be truly missed. I loved him as Rumpole, as did my husband.
Shirley Otternstin, USA

Truly one of our best character actors, giving memorable performances. His portrayal of Rumpole of the Bailey will never be forgotten.
Shirley Kirk, Scotland

I'll always remember Leo McKern as Thomas Cromwell in the Fred Zimmerman film A Man for All Seasons. A part brilliantly written by Robert Bolt. Mr McKern's acting was truly mesmerising; cruel and ruthless. A complete contrast to his natural character.
Sassy, England

Leo was one of the greats, superb in films, on TV and stage. I met him just once after he had appeared in a play at Manchester's Royal Exchange. He was kind, and very self-effacing about his acting talents. Whether in Shakespeare, Ibsen, The Prisoner or Rumpole, he always made the part his own.
John, UK

He had the voice of a well-rounded claret - always far better than Pomeroy's plonk to which Rumpole was accustomed

Graham, UK
English TV is a Godsend to American viewers. We recently lost Inspector Morse (John Thaw) and now Rumpole of the Bailey. We shall sorely miss those two fine actors who have brought many hours of pleasure to us and millions of other Americans. Go with God.
Jim and Alice Kale, USA

The passing of Leo McKern ends an era of British television in the USA. Along with John Thaw, Mr McKern created an indelibly British character that Americans instantly took to. He will be greatly missed but now heaven is enriched with another truly fine working actor.
Kenneth Barr, New York City, USA

One of my all time favourites.
Nave Singh, England

I've seen the Rumpole series many times over and never tire of them. Says much of Leo McKern. I will miss him very much.
Bill Richey, USA

A sad loss. He had the voice of a well-rounded claret - always far better than Pomeroy's plonk to which Rumpole was accustomed. I saw him on stage and still revel in the experience.

He was one of Auistralia's finest exports.
Graham, United Kingdom

If anyone gets to see his film called Travelling North, do, it is one of his finest.

Simon Lockwood, Australia
He created one of the truely great TV characters. Like Guinness's Smiley, you can't read the books without seeing anyone but McKern. I think Mortimer could only see Mckern as Rumpole... Testament enough!
John, UK

Thank you BBC - if it weren't for you I wouldn't know of the loss of this great actor. He'll be sorely missed.
Leahann, USA

Charge your glass with Chateau Thames! I give you Leo McKern! A classic actor with great class at all times.
Bob Farrell, USA

My fondest memories of that great actor that made a simple English barrister the most loved character of several generations.

If anyone gets to see his film called Travelling North, do, it is one of his finest.
Simon Lockwood, Melbourne, Australia

An actor of uncommon ability! He infused one film role - Thomas Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons - with a definitive understanding of evil and its political uses. And yes, he was the most memorable Number 2 on The Prisoner. Requiescat, Rumpole.
Robert del Valle, USA

I remember being absolutely enthralled by Mr McKern, every word he spoke created an image and an emotion

Lara Allen, USA
We've not only lost Leo McKern. We've lost Rumpole too. For no-one else (and no-one else) can ever portray him.
Dave Brammer, England

I am really devastated by this news. He was a reeally good actor.
Thabani Matshakaile, USA

Let's raise a glass of Chateau Thames Embankment to the man who brought Rumpole to life!
Eleanor Oguma, Japan

When you watched Rumpole, you somehow felt you weren't watching an actor. You were watching a real barrister, a blustery, sometimes blundering, sometimes sneaky, always human lawyer. Such was Leo McKern's talent.
Allan Wilson, Malaysia

I have wonderful childhood memories of watching Rumpole with my parents. I remember being absolutely enthralled by Mr McKern, every word he spoke created an image and an emotion. Even now, twenty years later, his is the voice I hear in my head when I read Wordsworth.
Lara Allen, USA

He really managed to breathe the life into the role that is evident in the books

Ed Adams, UK
As number two, he was number one, plus I once saw him in a film set in the Gold Coast of Australia where he portrayed a retiree from England in the final weeks and months of his life. I don't remember its title but I remember clearly that his portrayal was moving and thought provoking on the subjects of ageing and exile.

He was a wonderful actor...as an ex-pat Englishman in the U.S., I loved to watch episodes of Rumpole of the Bailey - his character would always reassure me of the decency and honesty which we all hope is still intact out their in this increasingly, worrisome, civilisation.
Johnny Alien, English/USA

Leo was a great actor and a great character. He was Rumpole, no-one else could have done it. This is a very sad day.
Eric, England

He may have been best known as Rumpole, but I will always remember Leo McKern for his brilliant performance as Captain Haddock in the 1994 BBC radio dramatisation of The Adventures of Tintin. He really managed to breathe the life into the role that is evident in the books.
Ed Adams, UK

Yes, Rumpole! Yes, Number 2! Yes, on all the other Leon McKern roles that we will never forget. But let us not forget the romanticism he helped us see in Ladyhawke, which was one of my favourite Leo McKern movies.
Jo Christy, USA

A wonderful actor, I will never forget his performance in the film Ryan's Daughter.
Kate, England

Bought a sense of humour to the legal profession in the TV series, Rumpole of the Bailey. She who must be obeyed will be sorely missed.
David Edwards, England

As Rumpole Leo McKern captured exactly those elderly "junior" barristers of forty years ago that I used to brief for simple runners and pleas in the lower courts. They were old, tired, cynical, ponged of stale tobacco and unwashed clothes, had claret-stained teeth and ink-stained fingers - they always used fountain pens for endorsing their briefs. You could almost smell Rumpole as he heaved into sight on the screen. Rest in Peace, Leo.
Barry, Ireland

An unlikely star - a homely man with a glass eye - yet an absolutely compelling performer: he made his craft seem effortless, which is the mark of a truly great actor. To make convincing a character who invokes Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Arthur Quiller Couch is no mean feat, and to rise above being a household name as Rumpole to give equally memorable performances singles him out for a place among the masters.
Guy Chapman, UK

What a great laugh. "Ha!"and then "Ha-ha!" He would laugh in earnest every time. I think he actually found it all very funny. "Be seeing you." Ha! Ha-ha!"
Glenn Knowles, USA

How very sad to hear of Leo McKern's death. He will live on as Number Two, as Rumpole, as Cromwell, and so many others. A great loss to all of us.
Waltraut Lehmann, USA

The best thing in The Prisoner, the best thing in (TV) court and one of the best the stage has ever seen. A real loss.
Dylan Dawes, UK

Good luck with your final appeal, Leo. God's an "old darling" really.
David, UK

I first saw Leo McKern in some of his earliest films 40 years ago: the perfect foil to Peter Seller's crooked Prime Minister in The Mouse that Roared, and the world weary journalist in The Day The Earth Caught Fire - he held the film together. Even that long ago he had a towering presence and was a unique talent. Irreplaceable.
John Carey, UK

I share the sadness of many at the death of Leo McKern. I find it rather sad however that the death of John Cunningham who argueably contributed more to this country through his work with the RAF during the 1939-45 war and as a test pilot after the war, while reported by the media, has not been given a lesser mention than the passing of Leo McKern. Both men were great in their respective fields but it is a sad reflection on our society today that actors gather more column inches than true heroes.
Andy, UK

As I'm a Rumpole nut my family paid for a caricature of the the great man for a birthday present. I sent it to John Mortimer and he signed it and I later managed to track down Leo and he signed it "from the man himself". A treasured memento of a superb actor.
Tony Dunlop, England

What a loss to the theatre and the acting world. I had the fortune to experience his performance on stage some years ago and will always remember.
Gerhard Mansbart, Spain

My late wife and I never missed a Rumpole episode. When we finally got to visit London, we made a pilgrimage to the Old Bailey in his honour. RIP Leo!
Gary Bennett, US

"She who must be obeyed" has become part of Australian mythology. Swmbo is even a character in a column in our country newspaper.He will be missed by the world.
Dawm McDonald, Australia

An authentic jewel.
Danielle, USA

A fine actor of stage and screen who is gone but not forgotten. I first remembered him as Carl Bugenhagen in the first two "Omen" movies, where I first saw him on screen. May he rest in peace.
Mike Kane, United Kingdom

Leo has become, like all great characters a truly "movable feast".
Bill Merritt, USA

A consummate character actor - he breathed life into Mortimer's Rumpole character in such a way that it would be impossible to fit another actor's face in his place. He was brilliant!
Ollie Nelthorpe, Australia

He had one of those well worn and loveable faces. The Australian stage and audiences will also miss him greatly.
Helen Falkingham, Australia

Oh, this is bad news! I loved the Pumpole series and NO-ONE could play the part better than Leo McKern! He will be badly missed. The crop of actors today would do well to take notes from this Master of the Craft! Sincere sympathy to his family and friends. I wish them peace.
Maie Oseguera, USA

I wore my sweatshirt with the words of "She Who Must Be Obeyed" with great pride. Leo McKern was a wonderful actor, and I enjoyed him in his many roles. I will miss him.
Billie Johnson, USA

I was only talking yesterday to another ex-pat in Calgary Alberta about Rumpole of the Bailey. We are truly lucky to have a US station in Spokane which plays all the UK comedy programmes so I will continue to enjoy Leo say those magic words "she who must be obeyed"
Sheree Dongworth, Canada

I had the pleasure of meeting Leo back in the 70s, a real gentleman. Since then I have always followed his career and admired his work. A great loss to his profession and family.
Michael Wellby, UK

Rumpole of the Old Bailey passes on to a higher court...Just to think I finished read the Second Rumpole Omnibus yesterday and am in search of the rest of the series. His work will sit in my library with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, both true detectives of human nature. A champion of the dowtrodden of society, when all others were against the man in the dock. The Golden Thread of English Law, Rumpole...
P Ohmes, USA

As an ex-patriate of the UK, now living in the US, my sincerest wishes go out to his surviving family. They can be assured he'll never be forgotton.
Clive Wiltham, USA

The quintessential Rumpole. What all lawyers should strive to achieve if they have any kind of heart at all. He will be greatly missed.
Kameron Miller, USA

To me, Mr McKern, as Rumpole, is "he who must be watched." Condolences to us all.
Warren Randall, USA

This world will never see the likes of such a great and gifted actor as Mr Leo McKern. He will be greatly missed by all.
Shaun Dafoe, Canada

I have followed Leo Mckern in every production I could, from his earliest films until Rumpole. I shall miss him very much, as I value his eccentric character as being, (very close in film), to mine, or at least what I guide my tiller towards. He was a common man of the people, easy to identify with, and will be missed sadly. I know we shan't miss him as much as his wife, but at least she will know that we miss him very much too - godspeed to she who must truly be obeyed!
Robert E, USA

Oh, I¿m so heartbroken¿I¿ve barely gotten over John Thaw! I think Leo McKern was one of those rare actors who could turn in a fabulous performance even if the rest of the show wasn¿t that great. And the man could do everything: comedy, drama, television, stage, feature film (and radio, I just discovered!). I especially loved him in Help!, A Man for All Seasons, Olivier¿s King Lear, The Prisoner, Ryan¿s Daughter, Mouse That Roared, Ladyhawke, and of course - Rumpole. I became such a huge fan of John Mortimer because of Leo McKern¿s portrayal of Rumpole. You wonderful, talented man - you will be missed.
Kathleen, USA

My hero is gone, and I'll miss him terribly. A loss to the world, and to curmudgeons and rebels everywhere.
Erik, Australia

For years we have enjoyed Rumpole on our PBS station, not only the first screenings but also through many reruns. Only Mr. McKern could make repeats refreshingly new. Thank you for many hours of pleasure, over a great number of years. The Timpson family will miss him.
Ian Davidson, Canada

I'm an ex-patriot Brit, but still think warmly of those great character actors like Mckern who gave us so much. As far as I can tell - he never gave a bad performance. He'll be missed.
Leslie, Canada

Rumpole of the Bailey was one of those rare TV programmes where I felt I could watch the episodes repeatedly with just as much enjoyment as the first time. As with some of the other great and rare talents like Mr. McKern, one will find it hard to imagine the world without him, but at least we will have Rumpole with us always.
Roger Balmer, USA

My very genealogy, my appreciation of the law of reason, following so many centuries of dispute and suffrage, my love of the law, of drama, of married life, and of the arts, were never more lovingly portrayed than by Leo, who represented the best of all these therein.

Long may his school of unprecedented excellence continue.

With affection to Abigail McKern and family.
Ruth, Canada

Thanks to my local PBS station I was able to discover the joy of Rumpole of the Bailey in the person of the extraordinary Leo McKern. It will truly be his most lasting legacy for many future generations of fans.
Peter Sands, U.S.A.

Always a memorable actor. I am honoured to have his programme photo, autographed by him, framed on my wall.
Caldwell, USA

He was great as Rumpole, great as the cultist in Help!...even did a memorable turn as Socrates. But it's as Number 2 that I chiefly remember him. The only Number 2 who gave the Prisoner as good as he got. A fine actor with high comedy, low comedy and Shakespearean gravitas wrapped up in his bones. He shall be missed.
Marty, United States

He was an incredibly funny and warm actor. I will forever remember him as Horace Rumpole. No other actor could have played the character. Leo McKern was brilliant and I will miss him.
Bret Herholz, USA

Mr McKern was truly one of the finest actors of his time. The choice of Mr McKern to play "Old Horace" was the best melding of actor and character I've ever seen. His portrayal of Rumpole was a great inspiration to all of us who must fight the battles for our clients in front of sometimes unsympathetic tribunals! He will be greatly missed. Remember..."never plead guilty, old darling"...
Rick Rhodes, USA

I love British drama and comedy and Rumpole was one of the best and most enjoyable. I hope to see the shows replayed once again here so we can all enjoy him again. Rumpole lives on!
Marisa Mia Plemer, Hawaii

A great actor who brought joy to millions. He was the one and only Rumpole, and he'll be sadly missed. Condolences to his family.
Monica, Australia

So saddened to hear of Leo McKern's death. He was a wonderful actor who brought the Rumpole character to life. He will be sadly missed.
Anne Fahy, Canada

Leo McKern was a treasure. His acting ability, class and style made Rumpole into an immortal character of the small screen.
Lindsay Smith, Australia

We Australians have always been so proud of our Leo. His Rumpole was a delight. Today is a sad day for the world and Australia but Leo McKern will never die. His image will remain with us always.
Pamela Gorham, Australia

A truly remarkable and vrsatile actor. He will be missed. In addition to his wonderful Rumpole series, I especially remember his wonderful portrayal of Thomas Cromwell in the film, Man For All Seasons. Because of the versatility of his talent, his passing will leave a wide gap in the world of drama that will never be completely filled. God bless you, Leo.
John Jordan, USA

I loved your imaginative films and TV series. X The Unknown, The Day the Earth Caught Fire (best SF film ever) and The Prisoner, the most enigmatic mystery on TV. Our family loved Rumpole too. Thank you for the joy and for choosing Somerset! See you soon, BCNU!
Frank, England

First Morse and now Rumpole.....whose next? What will happen to the British legal system after the passing of these two giants?
Martin White, Australia

Although my father died 22 years ago, I can still hear him laughing while watching Rumpole as if it were yesterday. Thanks for all the joy you brought to our family.
Geoffrey Forman, USA

A wonderfully versatile, commanding, satisfying and individual actor. A great loss.
Laurie Orman, Australia

I had the pleasure to work with him when I was an usherette at Manchester Corn Exchange theatre 20 years ago. It is a memory I will never forget of an absolute gentleman, a true professional but a real darling of a man.
Alison J Key, England

What a series it was, Rumpole was part of us even though he was an actor. Rumpole to us in the USA was a real person and will be very sadly missed, God Bless Old Fellow.
Harold L. Vernon, USA

As another of those British theatre-loving Americans I was truly saddened to hear about Mr. McKern's death today. Everything about Rumpole/McKern was superb...how I looked forward to those wonderful programmes. And as a rabid Prisoner Fan since 1968 I, too (two) so admired his performances as Number Two in that great TV series. As others have remarked, losing Leo McKern and John Thaw has made this a very sad year indeed for us all.
Susan Zawalich, USA

I saw him in the flesh only once. He had been playing the Prosecutor in a performance of Crime and Punishment at the Royal Exchange. Amidst some top flight theatrical talent he was so convincing and so natural. And a real gent; when he came to take his curtain call he acknowledged first his colleagues then the audience.
Michael, Korea

My God, what a talent; he will be missed. Number Two - the only truly memorable Number Two; Thomas Cromwell; Rumpole; Gloucester to Olivier's Lear; so many more. And that VOICE! A very bright light has gone out of the world.
Michael E. Stamm, USA

"Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind;"

William Wordsworth (1770¿1850), Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.
Paul Massari, USA

May I add my name to the growing list of people paying their respects to Leo McKern. Best remembered as Rumpole he will surely be, but it is his performance in the penultimate Prisoner episode "Once Upon A Time" which will stay with me always... I can watch it even now and feel totally drained by his sheer intensity! Be Seeing You Leo.
Ronnie Soo, England

The verdict on the case of Life vs McKern: I find in favour of the defendant. Or should that be plaintiff? Hmmm! Anyone know a good lawyer?
Max, U.K.

His Rumpole was awesome. Any actor who can do that deserved his time on earth!
Paul, UK

Well, an actor in a class all of his own. For me, that slight voice was unique like honey running over gravel. I grew up watching and loving Rumpole, and I think I developed a love of poetry because of the way Leo McKern delivered those lines. The film Travelling North I would rank as one of the best peices of Australian celluloid I can recall. Due in no small part to McKern's heart rending performance.

An interesting quirk was his great distaste of air travel. He mostly travelled by boat, no mean feat given the number of times he visited his native Australia from the United Kingdom. If all the world's a stage, the boards are a little poorer for losing him. Goodbye Leo.
Mark Taylor, New Zealand

God Bless you Leo, as you forever, "Rest your case!" You will be sadly missed.
Gordon Mcnulty, Canada

I enjoyed Leo McKern's portrayal on Number Two in The Prisoner; also, Rumpole of the Bailey was a public TV mainstay for me when it aired in the States. I will miss him dearly.
Darmon Thornton, USA

A great actor has left us. May he live forever in our hearts.
Mikael, Denmark

For many years the only reason I ever turned on the TV; PBS ran the Rumpole series many times and I never tired of watching them. I'll drink a glass of Sonoma red in his memory tonight, happy that he provided me so much pleasure, sad that there will never be another like him. Rest in peace, Mr. McKern.
Marv, Calif.,USA

Yes, I will remember him playing Rumpole and No. 2. But my preference was his Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons. He knew that his fortune and reputation would not be made by good-looks alone.
Alan Davidson, UK

As a law student living in Sydney in the 1980s. Rumpole opitimised the life of a criminal barrister. It is such a shame a did not pursue such an endeavour in my youth!
Anna Maria Fomin, Russia

He was the yardstick by which other actors were measured.
Alan, England

Leo McKern has left a lasting legacy as Rumpole. Like Perry Mason, Rumpole should now be retired. No one else could play that role. I loved him in Ladyhawke.
Bill Shorts, USA

He was outstanding in everything he did. Nothing will compare with Rumpole of the Bailey. He will be greatly missed.
Emilie Mattesich, USA

A great actor, his lead role as Rumpole was brilliant.
John, New Zealand

It's so sad you dear Leo passed away, for all you Prisoner fans you are the best actor to lead as Number two in all the series ! You'll live forever with us !
Alberto Braganti, Italia

Anyone who saw Leo McKern in Ryan's Daughter cannot doubt the versatility of this very great and underrated actor. A unique man indeed.
Rhona, UK

Thank you for sharing your great acting talents with all of us, they will be missed.
Jason, New Zealand

He was one of the greats. I can't imagine anyone else playing Rumpole.
M David Bennett, Canada

His delivery of "She who must be obeyed" will live on. What a great loss! Both he and John Thaw will be sorely missed.
Nancy Jowdy, USA

God bless my friend. I hope the fun still rolls on the other side. Hope you had the last laugh.
Roger Callan, UK

A fine actor who to most will be remembered for Rumpole of the Bailey but for me, one of the best actors in one of the best televsion programmes, The Prisoner.
Geoff Lake, England

Leo has joined me on many a long journey; making me laugh, making me think, making the journey seem short. He will be missed by many but, like me, they will continue to play his recorded tapes and remember the wonderful work Leo did.
Stevie, England

One of the best number 2's.
E. Kanner, UK

Mr. McKern shall be deeply missed by everyone in my family for his commanding portrayal of Mortimer's Rumpole. My mother especially is deeply saddened by his death. My condolences to his relatives.
Ian Randall, USA

Leo McKern's Rumpole introduced me to the legal world with the best portrayal of an Old Bailey hack. He was also outstanding in a TV film with Alec Guinness called A Foreign Field. A fine actor, he will be sorely missed. I'm only 16 and I realise that.
James Pallant, UK

Probably one of the best, if not the best actor, I have ever seen. Having all 43 Rumpole episodes, I always notice something new that he puts into the part with each viewing. John Mortimer certainly could not have been blessed with a better actor to bring alive his Rumpole.
John Schmidt, USA

Rumpole was a class act, and so was Leo McKern. He will be missed.
Deborah, USA

I was roped in as an extra when he was filming for a BBC2 Screen 2 production that also starred Alec Guinness and Lauren Bacall, the crew were on board a cross channel ferry, inbetween takes he put his arm round my shivering shoulders and confided that it was "film acting, a film script and a film crew, but that it was television money!" A lovely characterful person and actor.
Caroline Bradley, UK

My round 200 mile round trip to law school three times a week was made bearable only by listening to tapes of Rumpole. McKern was Rumpole. He will be sorely missed.
Katharine Coxwell, USA

I first remember Leo in a budget 60s film called The Day the Earth Caught Fire but as Rumpole he will be sorely missed. RIP
Peter, UK

A brilliant and unique actor, loved his roles in Rumpole of the Bailey and as Number two in The Prisoner. A great actor, whose presence in the world of theatre and television will be with us for a long time to come.
Chris Paul, UK

Rumpole was a show I'd take the phone off the hook to see.
Lee Perkins, USA

I loved Rumpole. He made TV grand.
Martin Felando, USA

A sad day. I feel a great loss as yet another of our wonderful actors departs the earthly coil. If ever one cared at all if there was an after life now would be the time to draw comfort in imagining all the great actors who have already passed on welcoming Leo to the eternal stage where the roles are always starring and the audiences always pleased. Thanks Leo for the wonderful performances.
Kenneth Jessett, USA (ex UK)

I'll never forget his role as Number 2 in the Prisoner. His episodes were some of the best I have ever seen for any show on television.
Ted Donlsn, USA

A sad day. I feel a great loss as yet another of our wonderful actors departs the earthly coil. If ever one cared at all if there was an after life now would be the time to draw comfort in imagining all the great actors who have already passed on welcoming Leo to the eternal stage where the roles are always starring and the audiences always pleased. Thanks Leo for the wonderful performances.
Kenneth Jessett, USA (ex UK)

Rumpole was one of the most entertaining programmes on television. What a great actor and personality Leo McKern was. A pleasure to watch, unlike most of the rubbish now on television.
Jan Faulkner, England

I first came across him in an episode of Patrick McGoohans's The Prisoner. He played the chairman of the village, known simply as Number Two. Ever since then I have been a fan of Leo. He will be sorely missed.
Richard Shelton, Wales

Films, plays, so many parts but always wonderful. We have lost a treasure who is irreplaceable.
Colin Richardson, Canada

Leo McKern - one of the greatest justifications for human cloning.
John Webb, United Kingdom

My late husband and I never missed an episode of Rumpole. One of the greatest actors of our time. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Nancy McKinzie, USA

I was so sad to learn that Leo McKern had passed away. Rumpole was such a favourite of mine. I LOVED the line..."she who must be obeyed". It always made me smile. Thank you Mr McKern for so many happy hours watching you act. You were the BEST! My condolences to his family.
Pat, USA

My brother and I are both lawyers and have enjoyed the Rumpole series and books for years. About 10 years ago, I bought my brother a set of tapes of Leo McKern reading Rumpole stories. It was the first "audiobook" either of us had purchased and we were blown away by how this great actor did not simply "read" the stories, but brought them - and all of the many quirky characters - to life. A theatre and acting enthusiast, I've gone on to collect many readings and audio performances by actors I enjoy, but McKern's remain the gold standard.
Rob Walton, USA



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