- Served in the Royal Air Force during WWII and was held prisoner for three years in Germany.
- His film debut was in 1949's Dear Mr. Prohack.
- His first Hollywood picture was 1965's King Rat, about survival in a WWII POW camp, but his breakthrough film was 1966's Alfie, in which he played a back-alley abortionist.
- Was memorable as a hard-drinking, blacklisted film director in the 1974 Richard Dreyfuss drama The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
- Known to many Americans for his role as valet to Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd's characters in the 1982 comedy Trading Places.