Angel-faced child star Mark Lester was the son of British actors Michael and Rita Lester. Mark made his professional debut at age 2 1/2 in a TV commercial featuring his father. The youngster studied acting and mime at the Corona Stage School, then played supporting roles in several British TV series, including The Human Jungle and Danger Man. In films from 1964, Lester was elevated to stardom in the title role of the Oscar-winning movie musical Oliver! (1968). He then won critical praise as the autistic protagonist of Run Wild, Run Free (1969), after which his film appearances became increasingly routine. Mark Lester's last starring assignment was a dual role in Crossed Swords, a 1977 filmization of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper; Lester retired from show business to become an osteopath.