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Dudley Moore Dead at 66


The actor and comedian Dudley Moore has died at his home in New Jersey after a long illness. His career took him from the British stage to Hollywood.

Dudley Moore came to comedy by way of music, when the young pianist joined the comedy review Beyond the Fringe. The satirical show was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 1960, and later in London's West End and on New York's Broadway.

The group included Jonathan Miller, a doctor who later became a successful theater producer, and Alan Bennett, later a noted playwright.

In the 1960s, Moore and another troupe member, Peter Cook, appeared as a comedy duo on stage and television, and then in movies.

In his first U.S. film, in 1978, Moore played opposite Goldie Hawn in a small part that brought him some notice in Hollywood. The following year, he starred opposite Bo Derek in the film 10, portraying a composer in search of the perfect woman.

In 1981, the actor-comedian starred in an even bigger hit called Arthur. He played a drunken millionaire opposite Liza Minnelli.

His role in Arthur earned Dudley Moore a nomination as best actor at the Oscars.

The performer was short, just 160 centimeters tall, and was born with a deformed foot. But he had an appealing screen persona that made him popular with audiences, and allowed him to convincingly win the heart of the leading lady.

In real life, the actor was married and divorced four times. He was often seen in films playing the piano and said the love of his life was music.

He told an interviewer that his activities on and off the screen were similar. He said, "I've been mildly entertaining and playing the piano all my life, I suppose. And I don't know that people who start their lives that way will find many alternatives, actually."

Dudley Moore suffered from a rare brain disorder that left him progressively weaker in recent years. He was 66.

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