Whether he was playing seedy landlord Rupert Rigsby in Rising Damp or frustrated suburban dreamer Reggie Perrin, Leonard Rossiter gave performances so iconic that they achieved timelessness. Like Peter Sellers or Ronnie Barker, his characters are more real to fans than the actor who played them, who to this day remains a mystery. The fragments known about him-his rumored ruthlessness and disdain for other actors-are partial, offering no real insight into his undoubtedly complex character. Here for the first time is an in-depth account of Rossiter's life and work. Interviews with his daughter, Camilla; widow, Gillian Raines; lover Sue MacGregor; and friends and colleagues from Don Warrington to Geoffrey Palmer bring to life the man behind the threadbare cardigan and manic grimace, revealing why he was able to produce such epoch-defining performances. As well as examining the great TV roles for which he became famous, his lesser-known work in theater is also explored, as well as his parts in classic films such as Oliver!, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Britannia Hospital. We'll also learn what went on behind the scenes in the famous series of Cinzano adverts he made with Joan Collins in the mid 1970s.