He was one of those delightful, typically British actors with a penchant for playing eccentrics. Early in his career, Jeremy Brett once quaintly introduced Aubrey Morris to Noël Coward as "the finest small-part player in London". Born Aubrey Steinberg of Jewish-Ukrainian ancestry, he was one of several siblings with artistic inclinations (his brother Wolfe Morris was also a noted character player). Aubrey studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London on a scholarship and made his stage debut in 1944. During the 1950s, he acted regularly on the West End stage, at the Old Vic, and on Broadway.
In addition to making excellent use of his Shakespearean-trained voice, his diminutive stature and beaming, toothy countenance proved a significant asset to a remarkable versatility on screen. Morris was adept at conveying unctuousness, cunning, duplicity, civility, or obsession with equal ease and in a wide variety of roles and genres. His many memorable performances include: the Freud-fixated writer Mr. Mybug in Cold Comfort Farm (1968); the sleazy probation officer Mr. Deltoid in A Clockwork Orange (1971); a sinister gravedigger in The Wicker Man (1973); the oily manservant Grosvenor, asking Michael Palin for the use of the 'naughty books', in "The Curse of the Claw" episode of Ripping Yarns (1976); the jolly captain of the 'B-Ark' (filled with such folk as telephone sanitizers), spending years luxuriating in his bubble-bath in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981); and last, but not least, the ancient thespian Chesterton, shuffling off this mortal coil while being read quotes from King Lear in HBO's Deadwood (2004).
Residing in the U.S. since the mid-1980s, Aubrey Morris continued to ply his trade right up until his death at the venerable age of 89.