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Ralph Richardson

From Academic Kids

Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December, 1902 - 10 October 1983) was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, did their best to make the transition to film. Richardson was born in Cheltenham and made his West End début in 1926. Thereafter he became one of the Old Vic's major stars. After World War II, he became co-director of the Vic, and also appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon. In 1954-1955 he played the character of Dr. John Watson (mistakenly called 'James' in several episodes) in an American/BBC radio co-production of canonical Sherlock Holmes stories, which starred John Gielgud as the famous consulting detective. His film appearances included The Heiress, Richard III (playing Buckingham to Laurence Olivier's Richard), O Lucky Man!, Oh! What a Lovely War and Time Bandits. His career has often been compared with that of Olivier, Alec Guinness and John Gielgud.

Richardson was knighted by King George VI in 1947. His final film appearence was as the sixth Earl of Greystoke in the 1983 movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, for which he was again nominated for an Academy Award. Sir Ralph died of a stroke at the age of eighty, and was interred at Highgate Cemetery.

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