Mark Lester (born Mark A. Letzer; 11 July 1958) is an English former child actor known for playing the title role in the 1968 musical film version of Oliver! and starring in a number of other British and European films of the 1960s and 70s.
Lester was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, to actress Rita Keene Lester and actor and producer Michael Lester (originally Michael Boris Letzer). His father was Jewish and his mother Anglican. He attended the independent Halliford School in Shepperton, Middlesex, and the independent Corona Theatre School in Kew, London, and had supporting roles in several British television series, including The Human Jungle and Danger Man.
In 1964, at the age of six, Lester was cast in Robert Dhery's film Allez France! with Diana Dors (who appeared in the 1948 film version of Oliver Twist). He played a small part as the second schoolboy in Fahrenheit 451.
In 1967, at the age of eight, Lester was cast in the title role in the film version of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver!. The multiple Academy Award-winning adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel co-starred Jack Wild, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis and Oliver Reed, and was directed by Sir Carol Reed. Since Lester could not