RIP Fagin, AKA Ron Moody

As a youngster I remember with joy the musical Oliver!, a movie based on a stage musical, which was in turn based on Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.  It was an iconic adaptation, and a huge success (although I’m not sure how popular it was in the USA – that was decades before I came here.)

The actor who played Fagin, the boss of a criminal gang of boys, was Ron Moody.  Sadly, he died this week at the age of 91.  In his honor, here’s one of my favorite songs from the movie, which he performed masterfully.  Fagin is wondering whether to give up crime and turn to an honest life.

Rest in peace, Mr. Moody, and thank you for many happy memories.



  1. I saw him play Fagin on stage when I was in high school.
    By far the best part of the production and, not surprisingly, the only individual I remember in the play. (I'm sure there were others if only because "Oliver" needs a title character.)

  2. I was a teenager when "Oliver" came out; it was on a reserved-seat basis (quite unusual in movie theaters). I invited a girl who was above my pay grade, so to speak, and she accepted. I was ecstatic! We arrived, got seated, and I began chatting her up. Then someone behind me tapped my shoulder. What the . . . I began to say as I turned around to see my grandmother and a friend sitting there. Wow, I thought, how could this situation deteriorate further. Murphy answered by seating two nuns next to my nice Catholic girl date. I remember little of the rest of that night other than gloom.

  3. He made Fagin, an utterly despicable character in the book, something of a charming rogue in the movie. Not many could have done that; he'll be missed.

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