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Richard Griffiths Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 July 1947Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, England, UK
Date of Death 28 March 2013University Hospital, Coventry, West Midlands, England, UK  (complications following heart surgery)
Birth NameRichard Thomas Griffiths
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

British character actor Richard Griffiths came from radio and the classical stage where he built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown, with larger-than-life portrayals of Henry VIII, Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Royal Shakespeare Company just a few of his standout credits. The son of deaf parents, he learned sign language at an early age and, interestingly enough, developed a talent for dialects which allowed him to show off in a number of ethnic portrayals. In films from 1975 both here and abroad, his better roles have been in both contemporary and period pieces, such as Gorky Park (1983), Withnail & I (1987), King Ralph (1991), Guarding Tess (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999) and recently the 'Harry Potter' series as Uncle Vernon Dursley. Typically cast as comic relief in serious fare, he is well known in England for a number of comedy series including Pie in the Sky (1994).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Heather Gibson (1980 - 28 March 2013) (his death)

Trivia (17)

Was considered by producers for the role of "The Doctor" in Doctor Who (1963), had the series' original run continued past 1989.
2004 - Won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hector in "The History Boys" at the National Theatre (Lyttleton) (London).
Parents died at the end of 1976.
November 2005: Was performing in the stage play "Heroes" in London's Wyndham Theatre when a lady's mobile phone kept ringing in the audience. After it rang a third time, he stopped the play and - to loud applause - had her ejected from the theatre.
He was awarded the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as "Hector" in Alan Bennett's "The History Boys.".
Won the 2006 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Actor in A Leading Role in a Play for "The History Boys". The presenter of the award to Griffiths was Julia Roberts.
June 2005: he ordered a man out of the National Theatre, London, when his mobile phone went off for the sixth time during a performance of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys". The actor stopped in the middle of his lines, fixed the offender with an icy stare and said: "I am asking you to stand up, leave this auditorium and never, ever come back". Other members of the audience applauded as the man left the theatre.
May 2006: When a mobile rang out for the third time during his performance as Hector, a teacher, in Alan Bennett's The History Boys at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York, Griffiths rounded on the theatregoer and thundered: "I am not going to compete with these electronic devices. You were told to turn them off by the stage manager; you were told it was against the law. If we hear one more phone go off, we'll quit this performance. You have been warned."
Has, at least twice, played a dual role, once in Whoops Apocalypse (1982) as a replacement "Premier Dubienkin" (as well as the original), and in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) as "Dr. Meinheimer" and impersonator "Earl Hacker".
He was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2008 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama.
Gave the commencement speech to the Oxford University Class of 2008.
London, England: Acting in the play "Equus" with Daniel Radcliffe, who he is also acting with in the Harry Potter films. [February 2007]
London, England: Appearing as Fitz and W.H. Auden in the world premiere of "The Habit of Art" by 'Alan Bennett' at the Lyttleton Theatre in the National Theatre. [November 2009]
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England [December 2007]
Replaced the late Richard Vernon as Slartibartfast in the new "Tertiary Phase" episodes of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" BBC4 radio series, adapted from the late Douglas Adams' books 3-5 of the "trilogy". Phase 4 ("Quandary") is slated for 2005, with phase 5 ("Quintessential") to follow. [September 2004]
He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners in consecutive years: Chariots of Fire (1981) and Gandhi (1982). John Gielgud and Ian Charleson also appeared in both films.
The ninth Harry Potter film series cast member to die.

Personal Quotes (6)

I hate being the subject of photographs.
I've always hated the way I looked...
Winning is something you've dreamed about and hoped for, so that when you get there it's no big deal. But if you lose you're gutted, and the gutted sense just goes on, and I know what that's like, because I've been having that gutted feeling since 1979.
(On Uncle Vernon from the Harry Potter movies) "Vernon distrusts Harry completely and is always concerned that he is going to do something strange at any moment. That is Vernon's biggest fear - he doesn't want anything strange happening that the neighbours might see."
If I had my way, all actors over 55 would be issued a 3-lb. wet salmon with which to slap the face of every young, beautiful, successful upstart. 'That's for being so lucky, you bastard!' I would shout. And then, hit them again, if you can.
I know actors who hold parties simply because they have an audition, which is tragic.

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