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Ronald Lacey had an unusual face: round cheeks with a large mole on the left side, beady eyes, and a warm smile that could quickly turn into a leer. His appearance led him to be cast in scores of roles as oddball characters and villains. After appearing in several stage plays, he made a move into British television, where he could be seen regularly throughout the 1960s. His turn in 1977 as Harris--a despicable, bungling mugger in the prison sitcom "Porridge"--was the first role to really take advantage of his strange looks. Nevertheless, at this point, dissatisfied with the work he was getting, Lacey considered quitting the business and starting a talent agency. In 1981, however, he was cast in his best known role as Major Arnold Toht, the villainous Nazi Gestapo agent in Steven Spielberg's classic action-adventure, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." After this high-profile part he was cast as the bad guy in a series of Hollywood pictures throughout the 1980s, including an uncredited appearance in 1989 as the Nazi Heinrich Himmler in the third film in Spielberg's Indiana Jones trilogy, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Lacey's career was sometimes marked by controversy, as he was a notorious drinker and thus a favorite target of the tabloids.
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