Lantern-jawed, mustachioed, phlegmatic British actor Lionel Jeffries was trained at RADA following military service. In films from 1949, Jeffries hit his stride in the 1960s, playing a variety of ineffectual cops, bumbling bureaucrats, petty criminals and absent-minded professors. He was shown to best advantage in such films as Wrong Arm of the Law (1962) First Men in the Moon (1963) and Spy with a Cold Nose (1966). He was also adept at more sober-sided characterizations, such as the Marquis of Queensbury in The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960). In 1971, Lionel Jeffries turned to directing with The Railway Children, the first of several efforts aimed at the family trade: his other directorial assignments in this vein included Baxter (1972) The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972), The Water Babies (1978) and Wombling Free (1978). Jeffries died at age 83 in February 2010.