Due to his premature baldness, British actor Lionel Jeffries often played characters who were much older than he was. This was the case in 1968's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", in which Jeffries played the father of Dick Van Dyke's character, Caractacus Potts, even though Van Dyke was six months older. Jeffries reached the pinnacle of his acting career in the 1960s with starring roles in "The Trials of Oscar Wilde", "First Men in the Moon", and 1967's "Camelot", the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical. Unhappy with the dearth of family-oriented movies, in the early 1970s Jeffries turned to writing and directing children's movies. In 1970 he wrote and directed the celebrated film adaptation of the British novel "The Railway Children" and followed that up with an equally beloved family mystery movie, 1972's "The Amazing Mr. Blunden". Despite directing these two critically acclaimed films, one of which, "The Railway Children", consistently ranks as one of the greatest British films ever made (as surveyed by the British Film Institute and Total Film magazine), Jeffries never directed again and spent the remainder of his career acting in British television shows before retiring in 2001. Following a long illness, Jeffries died in a nursing home in 2010.