After attending the College of Dramatic Arts in Glasgow, Ian Richardson spent time honing his craft further at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and at the Royal Shakespeare Company (of which he was a founding member). Further theater roles followed both in London and on Broadway, as well as appearances on television and in film throughout the 1960s and 1970s. But it would be in the 1980s that Richardson began truly receiving the recognition he deserved as an actor, with a Royal Television Society Award (for "Best Performance") for his role in 1981 British comedy "Private Schulz." The early 1990s would see Richardson take on the role that he would forever be best remembered for, as Francis Urquhart in a four-part television version of "House of Cards" (based on a political thriller novel penned by Michael Dobbs), for which Richardson won a BAFTA Award for "Best Actor" and a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for "Best Acting Performance." Richardson continued to land solid roles (and earn more award nominations) until his death from a heart attack on February 9, 2007, at the age of 72.