Tivoli Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
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Marylebone, London, England
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Tales from the Crypt
Profile Bio Text
Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, also appeared in several classic films. Richardson first became known for his work on stage in the 1930s. In the 1940s, together with Laurence Olivier, he ran the Old Vic company. He continued on stage and in films into the early 1980s and was especially praised for his comedic roles. In his later years he was celebrated for his theatre work with his old friend John Gielgud. Among his most famous roles were Peer Gynt, Falstaff, John Gabriel Borkman and Hirst in Pinter`s No Man`s Land.
In September 1924 Richardson married the seventeen-year-old student actress Muriel ("Kit") Hewitt (1907-1942); the marriage was childless but devoted. Kit contracted sleeping sickness (encephalitis lethargica) and died in 1942 after a long illness. In 1944 Richardson married the actress Meriel ("Mu") Forbes (1913-2000), a member of the theatrical Forbes-Robertson family. They had one son, David (1945-1998). Richardson habitually rode a motorbike even in his seventies. He rode a Norton Dominator and in his later years changed to a BMW. Richardson died of a stroke, aged 80, and was interred at Highgate Cemetery.
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Full Name at Birth
Sir Ralph David Richardson
Actor/Actress, Director, Producer
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John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier
Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor who, along with his contemporaries John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He worked in films throughout most of his career, and played more than sixty cinema roles. From an artistic but not theatrical background, Richardson had no thought of a stage career until a production of Hamlet in Brighton inspired him to become an actor. He learned his craft in the 1920s with a touring company and later the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. In 1931 he joined the Old Vic, playing mostly Shakespearean roles. He led the company the following season, succeeding Gielgud, who had taught him much about stage technique. After he left the company, a series of leading roles took him to stardom in the West End and on Broadway.
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