Richard Todd

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Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd OBE (born June 11, 1919 in Dublin , Ireland , † December 3, 2009 in Grantham , Lincolnshire ) was a British actor of Irish descent.


Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd was born in Dublin in 1919. His father Andrew William Palethorpe Todd was a British officer and successful Rugby poker players for the Irish national team before the First World War . Richard spent his childhood in India before the family moved to Devon , England . He attended Shrewsbury School in Shropshire and later the Sandhurst Military Academy . His love for acting was greater, however, and so he studied this subject at the Italia Conti Academy of Theater Arts . The early years of his acting career took him mainly on regional stages before co-founding the Dundee Repertory Theater in Scotland in 1939 .

The Second World War interrupted his acting. In 1941 he was promoted to lieutenant and served from May 1943 in the 7th Parachute Battalion of the British 6th Airborne Division . On the night of June 5-6, 1944, Todd was one of the first Allied soldiers to land in France for D-Day . In Operation Tonga , he served in Major John Howard's unit on the highly competitive Pegasus Bridge and defended it until the arrival of the relief force led by Lord Lovat . This encounter was shown in two films after the war, each with Richard Todd as an actor. In the film The Longest Day (1962) by Cornelius Ryan he even played Major Howard.

After the war, Todd went back to the Dundee Repertory Theater . He then made his debut in the West End of London in the role of Lachlan MacLachlan in the play The Hasty Heart (German: Counted Hours ) by John Patrick . After an interlude on New York's Broadway , he returned to England. In 1950 Todd received an Oscar nomination and the Golden Globe Award for Best New Actor for the theatrical version of The Hasty Heart . One of his colleagues in this film was the American Ronald Reagan , who would be President of the United States 30 years later . The two had a deep friendship.

In the early 1950s, he had leading roles in three adventure films produced by Walt Disney in Great Britain , starting with Robin Hood and his daring journeymen (1952) . He became widely known in 1954 in the role of Wing Commander Guy Gibson in Michael Anderson's film May 1943 - The Dam Busters . Originally he was supposed to impersonate the first film James Bond , according to Ian Fleming's will , as he corresponded to the blue-eyed, aristocratic agent far more than Sean Connery. Fleming later changed his mind after Connery auditioned for the Bond role with his outstanding and manly gait.

Todd also appeared on television in Virtual Murder , Silent Witness and Doctor Who .

Todd was married twice and divorced twice: 1949-1970 with Catherine Grant-Bogle, a colleague at the Dundee Repertory ; the couple had a son, Peter, and a daughter, Fiona. From 1970 to 1992 he was married to Virginia Mailer; also here two sons were born, Andrew and Seumas. Seumas (1977–1997) died of suicide ; His son Peter (1952–2005) from his first marriage also killed himself.

Most recently Todd lived on a farm in Lincolnshire , England .

The Walt Disney Company named him " Disney Legend " ("Disney Legend") in 2002 .

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Richard Todd, Dashing Actor, this at 90