'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' actor Lionel Jeffries has died.

The TV and movie star passed away aged 83 at a nursing home in Dorset, South West England,

Jeffries - who also ventured into directing, helming 'The Railway Children' - was well known for his bald head, moustache and deep voice.

Actress Jenny Agutter, who starred in 'The Railway Children', described him as an "extraordinary character" who was "wonderfully funny".

She added: "He was a total dear to work with. He very much created a family on set."

Jeffries largely gave up acting in his later life, although did appear as Granddad in cult UK TV children's show 'Woof!' and in an episode of medical drama 'Holby City'.

Born in the East End of London in 1926, the star often played roles older than his real age - in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' he played Dick Van Dyke's father Grandpa Potts, despite being six months younger than him.

He is survived by his wife Eilieen Mary Walsh and their three children.