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Richard Briers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (15) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 14 January 1934Merton, Surrey, England, UK
Date of Death 17 February 2013London, England, UK  (emphysema)
Birth NameRichard David Briers
Nickname Dickie
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Richard Briers was born on January 14, 1934 in Merton, Surrey, England as Richard David Briers. He was an actor, known for Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Watership Down (1978) and Peter Pan (2003). He was married to Ann Davies. He died on February 17, 2013 in London, England.

Spouse (1)

Ann Davies (1958 - 17 February 2013) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (16)

Father of Lucy Briers.
A first cousin, once removed, of actor Terry-Thomas.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1989 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
Grew up in a flat above a cinema.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
He attended RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) between 1954-1956 and is a member of their Council.
He was nominated for Broadway's 1998 Tony Award as best actor in a play for his performance of Eugène Ionesco's in "The Chairs.".
Patron of the Net Curtains Theatre Company.
His father was a bookmaker, described by Briers himself as a 'feckless drifter'. His mother, Morna Richardson, was a pianist.
Did his national service in the RAF.
After graduating from RADA (silver medal), he won a scholarship with the Liverpool Rep (1956-57) and was henceforth never out of work.
He appeared in nine films directed by his close friend Kenneth Branagh: Henry V (1989), Peter's Friends (1992), Swan Song (1992), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), A Midwinter's Tale (1995), Hamlet (1996), Love's Labour's Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2006).
Noted for his performances on stage in plays by Alan Ayckbourn and Shakespearean roles for Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance company.
He studied electrical engineering, but gave it up to become a file clerk, a job he continued in the RAF when he was called up to do his national service. While serving at RAF Northwood in Hertfordshire, he became involved in the drama society at London's Borough Polytechnic Institute (now the South Bank University).
He revealed in a newspaper interview in January 2013 that he had been diagnosed with emphysema in 2007 and had smoked approximately half a million cigarettes before quitting. According to his daughter Lucy, he quit instantly in 2001 after a routine chest X-ray showed that if he didn't, he would soon be in a wheelchair.
Along with Jimmy Yuill, he is one of only two actors other than Kenneth Branagh himself to appear in all five Shakespearean films that Branagh has directed: Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), Love's Labour's Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2006).

Personal Quotes (15)

People still see me in Good Life (Good Neighbors (1975)) repeats. I was 25 years younger then. Now I'm an old git with white hair.
I'm rather low-brow in my film tastes: I love Superman (1978) and Jack Nicholson. Jack's very theatrical and doesn't give a damn how much he overplays, he's an extraordinary performer. In a way one learns from him, but he's so brave, he just does it. He doesn't mumble, he gives a performance.
I was trained as an actor and was taught voice projection and diction, but the fashion nowadays is to speak badly and make terrible noises from the back of your throat.
I don't watch very much on TV, partly because I'm old. I want very little action. I'm one of those awfully boring people who likes David Attenborough and the news.
They simply don't write funny stuff any more. A lot of it now is depressing. Or violent. Or both.
On being awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) I'm absolutely delighted..It's more than 12 years ago that I picked up the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) so to get this is marvellous.
Ronnie [Ronnie Barker] took his comedy very seriously, and he also proved in Porridge (1974) that he was a brilliant actor. To me, it was the best thing he ever did. The wonderful thing about actors is that they just go on. Ronnie's work will go on, especially "Porridge", which I don't think will be topped for many, many years to come.
I'm pleased to tell you I belong to a rather elite club with a dwindling membership: I'm one of the few people in Britain who doesn't have a mobile phone. I don't possess one because I'm anti-progress and very reactionary. I'm also 75, bad-tempered and I don't want to talk to anyone that much.
I am irrevocably and unashamedly old-fashioned. I subscribe to The Oldie magazine - written expressly for the grumpy elderly - and I relish a good whinge.
Do I need or desire an iPod? Of course not! I'm afraid I won't live long enough to find time to listen to the 10,000 tunes you're supposed to be able to store on them.
I make no apologies that my home - in which my wife, Ann, and I have lived for 42 years and raised our two children - is a shrine to a slower-paced era, when household goods were made to last and no one with a scintilla of common sense threw anything away if it still worked.
Of course, I know that young people idle away hours chatting to their chums on these newfangled social networking sites. But at my age, alas, so many of my dearest friends are dead. Those who soldier on are mostly actors. Having spent a lifetime in a very rowdy profession, like me they value tranquility and have no wish to share the minutiae of their everyday lives with hundreds of new 'friends' via the internet. So we confine our socialising to the occasional leisurely lunch and that does us all very nicely.
If my agent has a job for me and I happen to be out, he phones me later when I'm back at home. If he doesn't want me, the phone remains silent. We have, for the past 50-odd years, always found this to be a perfectly satisfactory arrangement.
I'm not a great fan of Tom Good as a character. He was selfish, he was always on the touch with Margo and Jerry, always eating their food, drinking their drink. It was just him - "My BIG idea". Most of the parts I've played aren't that likable, which is very odd, because I've made a living by being likable.
[on the death of Jon Pertwee] He rang me about six months ago, trying to get a new radio comedy off the ground. It was to have been set in a magistrates court. Our daughters were good friends, which is why I knew him. I was very sad to hear today's news. We have lost a great personality; he was a one-off.

Salary (1)

Murder She Said (1961) £25

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