The noted British character actor Lionel Jeffries has died in a nursing home at age 83 following a long illness. Jeffries made a career of playing eccentric characters who were often older than his actual years. In his most memorable part, as Grandpa Potts in the 1968 screen version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Potts played Dick Van Dyke's father, even though both actors were essentially the same age. Jeffries also wrote and directed the acclaimed 1970British film version of The Railway Children. Jeffries, who was also a popular stage actor, also appeared in films such as The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Call Me Bwana, Those Fantastic Flying Fools, Camelot and First Men in the Moon.