Actor Lionel Jeffries dies

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The Independent Online

Veteran actor and director Lionel Jeffries, whose credits include well-loved films such as The Railway Children and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, died today.

The Rada-trained star, who was associated with a number of children's classics, was 83.

Jeffries was an instantly recognisable figure and became a familiar face in film and TV for decades.

A spokeswoman for his agent, the Liz Hobbs Group, said: "We can confirm he did pass away this morning. It was following a long illness."

No further details were released.

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