British stage and screen actor, Ralph Richardson

Ralph Richardson


British actor, director (died aged 80) | Things to Come (1936), The Four Feathers (1939), The Divorce of Lady X (1938)

Distinguished British stage actor, in occasional films. Despite his splendid theatrical voice and thespian mannerisms he was at his best playing ordinary chaps, though his gallery included plenty of eccentrics

Mini Biography

Born in Cheltenham, Ralph Richardson was on stage from 1921, notably in productions at the Old Vic – in partnership with Laurence Olivier – at the Royal Court Theatre and the National Theatre, where first nights were marred by firing ‘Ralph’s Rocket’, in memory of his love of his fireworks. (He once destroyed Olivier’s dressing room with a misdirected rocket.)

In private life Richardson was as eccentric as some of the characters he played: stopped by police late at night when walking very slowly along the gutter of an Oxford street, he explained that he was taking his pet mouse for a stroll.

Latest Ralph Richardson Pictures

Select Ralph Richardson Filmography

The Ghoul (1933)
Nigel Hartley
Bulldog Jack (1935)
Things to Come (1936)
The Boss
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)
Colonel Winstanley
Thunder in the City (1937)
The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Lord Mere
Q Planes (1939)
Major Charles Hammond
The Four Feathers (1939)
Capt John Durrance
The Lion Has Wings (1939)
Wing Commander Richardson
On the Night of the Fire (1939)
Will Kobling
The Day Will Dawn (1942)
Frank Lockwood
The Silver Fleet (1943)
Jaap van Leyden
School for Secrets (1946)
Prof Heatherville
Anna Karenina (1948)
The Fallen Idol (1948)
Outcast of the Islands (1951)
Captain Tom Lingard
Home at Seven (1952)
David Preston
The Sound Barrier (1952)
John Ridgefield
The Holly and the Ivy (1952)
Rev Martin Gregory
Richard III (1955)
Duke of Buckingham
The Passionate Stranger (1957)
Roger Wynter / Sir Clement
Our Man in Havana (1959)
Exodus (1960)
Gen Sutherland
The 300 Spartans (1962)
Themistocles of Athens
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Khartoum (1966)
William Gladstone
The Wrong Box (1966)
Joseph Finsbury
The Bed Sitting Room (1969)
Lord Fortnum
Battle of Britain (1969)
Sir David Kelly – British Minister to Switzerland
David Copperfield (1970)
Mr Micawber
The Looking Glass War (1970)
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)
Mr Benton
Lady Caroline Lamb (1972)
George IV
A Doll’s House (1973)
Dr Rank
The Man in the Iron Mask (1977)
Watership Down (1978)
Chief Rabbit
Time Bandits (1981)
Supreme Being
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
The Sixth Earl of Greystoke
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Personal Details

Autographed photo from 1943 featuring Meriel Forbes
Wife  m. 1944–1983 (his death)

Watch Ralph Richardson on British television