Ralph Richardson Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (23)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (4)

Born in Tivoli Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Died in Marylebone, London, England, UK  (stroke)
Birth NameRalph David Richardson
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was quickly followed by Laurence Olivier in 1948, and then by John Gielgud in 1953. Co-stars and friends, the three theatrical knights were considered the greatest English actors of their generation, primarily for their mastery of the Shakespearean canon. They occupied the height of the British acting pantheon in the post-World War II years.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood (Corrected U.N. Owen '15)

Family (2)

Spouse Meriel Forbes (26 January 1944 - 10 October 1983)  (his death)  (1 child)
Muriel Hewitt (August 1924 - 5 October 1942)  (her death)
Children Richardson, Charles David

Trade Mark (2)

Often played proud patriarchs and authority figures
Rich baritone voice

Trivia (23)

Hobby was collecting motorbikes.
Interred at Highgate Cemetery (East), Highgate, London, England, UK.
The son of a Quaker father and a Roman Catholic mother, Ralph Richardson lived with his mother after she deserted the family home in Gloucestershire, and was raised Catholic by her.
Once found by police walking very slowly along the gutter of an Oxford street, he explained he was taking his pet mouse for a stroll.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Special Award in 1982 (1981 season) for his lifetime achievement in the theatre.
Played both God - in Time Bandits (1981) - and the Devil - in Tales from the Crypt (1972).
Played two roles originally played by Basil Rathbone. He played Karenin in Anna Karenina (1948) (Rathbone was Karenin in the 1935 Anna Karenina (1935) film version). Richardson also played Dr. Sloper in The Heiress (1949) after Rathbone had played Sloper in the Broadway stage version.
Was nominated three times for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic): in 1957, for "The Waltz of the Toreadors"; in 1971, for "Home"; and in 1977, for "No Man's Land" -- but never won.
Was offered the part of Lord Bartlesham (played by Richard Vernon) in Ripping Yarns: Roger of the Raj (1979), but could not agree to terms and conditions.
Is portrayed by Rhys McConnochie in Darlings of the Gods (1989)
Was part of a trio of great English stage actors, the other two being Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. They appeared in several scenes together in the epic miniseries Wagner (1981), which was released shortly after Richardson's death.
Was originally considered for one of the leading roles of Lady L (1965).
Famously eccentric, he once stopped in a middle of a stage performance, and addressed the audience enquiring "Is there a doctor in the house?" When a doctor made himself known, Richardson calmly enquired "Isn't this a terrible play, doctor?".
He was created a Knight Bachelor in the 1947 King's New Year Honours List for his services to the stage.
Once, whilst visiting the home of Laurence Olivier and his then wife Vivien Leigh, he was invited to inspect certain paintings which were kept in the attic. Somehow, he contrived to fall over; the floor of the attic gave way under his weight and he fell through it, landing on a bed (which then collapsed) in a room below. He was unhurt, but shaken; he was then scolded at some length by Vivien Leigh, whom he had already annoyed earlier in the day. He later said, "There was a rational basis to Vivien's fury, which we must salute. If you prod a tigress twice in her lair, you must not expect her to purr.".
In 1936, he appeared in two films based on novels by H.G. Wells: Things to Come (1936) and The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936).
Served in the Fleet Air Arm during the war and was given special leave to appear in a documentary film 'The Soldier's Food'.
Appeared in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: The Citadel (1938), The Heiress (1949) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
Pictured with John Gielgud on one of a set of eight British commemorative postage stamps celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Old Vic Theatre, issued 30 August 2018. The stamp shows Richardson and Gielgud in a 1975 performance of "No Man's Land". Other performers appearing on stamps in this set are Laurence Olivier, Glenda Jackson, Albert Finney, Maggie Smith, Sharon Benson, Judi Dench, John Stride, and Richard Burton.
Viewed as something of an enigma, very few people could claim to have known the real Ralph Richardson. The actor was never keen on granting interviews and was reputed to have been a rather secretive man.
A memorial service was held for him at Westminster Abbey, London on 18 November 1983.
Has a son Charles.
Made his stage debut as Lorenzo in 'The Merchant of Venice' at the Marina Theatre Lowestoft.

Personal Quotes (12)

Acting on the screen is like acting under a microscope. The slightest movement becomes a gesture and therefore the discipline has to be very severe.
I don't like my face at all. It's always been a great drawback to me.
I've never been one of those stage chaps who scoff at films. I think they're a marvellous medium, and are to the stage what engravings are to paintings.
My idea of a director is a chap who puts me in the middle of a stage and shines a bright light on me.
The art of acting lies in keeping people from coughing.
Actors never retire; they just get offered fewer parts.
Film is a wonderful medium and I love it, but I find that I cannot increase my talent by working in pictures, any more than a painter can do so by increasing the size of his brush.
I have put on so many make-ups that sometimes I have feared that when I go to wipe it off there will be nobody left underneath.
You've got to perform in a role hundreds of times. In keeping it fresh one can become a large, madly humming, demented refrigerator.
Acting is the ability to dream on cue.
Did you ever have a vision of the place we came from before we were born? I did, when I was about three years old. I used to dream about it. I even drew pictures of it. It looked rather like Mexico.
[Alexander] Korda was the nearest thing to a magician that I ever met. He could make the impossible seem possible.

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