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A member in good standing of Dublin's Abbey Theatre in the 1920s, Irish-born Wilfred Brambell began appearing on the London stage in the early 1930s, making his cinematic bow in Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. His latter-day fame rests on two roles essayed in the 1960s. On the popular British sitcom Steptoe and Son, the precursor to Norman Lear's Sanford and Son, Brambell played the crabby junk dealer who served as the model for Redd Foxx's Fred Sanford. And in the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (1964), Brambell gummed up the plot proceedings as Paul McCartney's "clean old man" grandfather. One of Wilfrid Brambell's last roles was as Alice B. Toklas in the iconoclastic Swedish "biopic" The Adventures of Picasso (1980).

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