Ronnie Biggs, who took part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, died Wednesday, Britain's Press Association said. He was 84.

Last seen in public in May, when he attended the funeral of robbery mastermind Bruce Reynolds, Biggs passed away at a nursing home in London.

Biggs played a minor role in the Aug. 8, 1963, heist of 2.6 million pounds (equivalent to more than $50 million now) from a Glasgow-to-London mail train.

But he became the most famous of the 17 people who carried out the crime thanks to his later status as one of the world's highest-profile fugitives.

Biggs and 11 other members of the gang were tracked down within weeks of the robbery.

Sentenced in April 1964 to 30 years behind bars, Biggs served only 14 months before he escaped from Wandsworth prison and set out for Paris, where he spent some of his proceeds from the heist on plastic surgery.

He used forged documents to settle in Australia with his wife and three sons.

After four years there, however, fear that Interpol was closing in prompted Biggs to flee to Brazil.

British law enforcement ultimately caught up with him in Rio de Janeiro, but Biggs avoided extradition as the father of a Brazilian-born child.

After falling seriously ill, Biggs voluntarily returned to Britain in 2001 and was jailed.

The British government freed him on compassionate grounds in 2009. Far from expressing remorse for his part in the Great Train Robbery, Biggs reveled in his celebrity. EFE