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Ian William Richardson


1934 - 2007

Stage, screen and television actor. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a biscuit-factory manager, Richardson was educated at Tynecastle High School in the city, the University of Glasgow, where he read medicine, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he won the James Bridie Gold Medal (1957).

Richardson began his acting career with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1958), becoming a founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960. During 15 years with the RSC, he acted in over 30 productions, including Macbeth (1966), The Tempest (1970) and Richard II (1973), and toured Europe, the USA, Japan and the Soviet Union. Other stage roles include a Broadway production of My Fair Lady (1974), Lolita (1981) and The Magistrate (1997).

Richardson's film appearances include The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (1966), in which his wife also had a minor role, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968), The Darwin Adventure (1971), Man of La Mancha (1972), Hound of the Baskervilles (1982), Brazil (1985), The Fourth Protocol (1987), Year of the Comet (1991), The Canterville Ghost (1997) and Dark City (1998). His voice appears in the animated version of The King and I (1999) and Hogfather (2006). He took a minor role in Greyfriars Bobby (2005).

His television work includes Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979), Churchill and his Generals (1979), Private Schulz (1980), The Woman in White (1982), To Play the King (1993) all for the BBC, together with Porterhouse Blue (1986), The Winslow Boy (1989), House of Cards (1990), which earned him a BAFTA award, the mini-series Catherine the Great (1994) and Gormenghast (2000).

He was awarded a CBE in 1979 and died in London.

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