Richard Todd


Actor
Richard Todd

About

Also Known As
Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd
Birth Place
Dublin, IE
Born
June 11, 1919
Died
December 03, 2009

Biography

Born in Ireland and raised in England, handsome leading man Richard Todd was a founding member of the Dundee Repertory Theatre of Scotland prior to his long and distinguished WWII service, first with the King's Own Light Infantry and later with a parachute regiment. After the war, he burst upon the scene as the doomed Scot of "The Hasty Heart" (1949), earning an Oscar nomination as Best ...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Catherine Grant-Bogle
Wife
Married c. 1949; divorced in 1969.
Virginia Ann Mailer
Wife
Model. Married in 1970.

Bibliography

"In Camera"
Richard Todd (1989)
"Caught in the Act: The Story of My Life"
Richard Todd, Hutchinson (1986)

Notes

Awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1993

Commenting on directors with whom he has worked, Richard Todd told Tony Williams (FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, Fall 1998): "I was very much in awe of [Hitchcock], but I did discover he wasn't very helpful as a director. . . . he's a great filmmaker but not a great actor's film director. King Vidor was a charming man, very nice to me indeed, very sage and wise about films in general, but perhaps a bit old-fashioned. . . . Vincent Sherman . . . There is a good film director and a great actor's director. The others, like Henry Koster and Michael Anderson, people I enjoyed working with."

Biography

Born in Ireland and raised in England, handsome leading man Richard Todd was a founding member of the Dundee Repertory Theatre of Scotland prior to his long and distinguished WWII service, first with the King's Own Light Infantry and later with a parachute regiment. After the war, he burst upon the scene as the doomed Scot of "The Hasty Heart" (1949), earning an Oscar nomination as Best Actor for his compelling performance, and he would also deliver one of his most highly-acclaimed portrayals as another Scotsman, US Senate chaplain Peter Marshall, in Henry Koster's "A Man Called Peter" (1955). Todd was a dashing Robin Hood (though overshadowed by his supporting characters) in "Robin Hood and His Merrie Men" (1953) and an ambitious Sir Walter Raleigh, whose eye for toothsome Joan Collins alienates the affections of monarch Bette Davis in Koster's "The Virgin Queen" (also 1955), but for the most part, his best work came in World War II dramas that gave the former soldier the chance for his art to imitate his life.

Beginning a four picture collaboration with director Michael Anderson in "The Dam Breakers" (1954), Todd made a distinguished showing as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the real-life story of the triumphant British raid against the Ruhr dams, carrying the picture with the help of Michael Redgrave, and reteamed with the director for "Yangtse Incident/Battle Hell" (1956), another true story, this time of a British ship stranded on the Red Chinese-dominated Yangtse River in 1949. Although his third film with the director, "Chase a Crooked Shadow" (1958), was a Hitchcock-like melodrama, he returned as a Wing Commander (this time named Kendall) for their last film together, "Operation Crossbow" (1965), and though Koster's fine "D-Day, the Sixth of June" (1956) cast him in a love triangle with Dana Wynter and Robert Taylor, his character was the one that did not live to see the end of the movie, stepping tragically on a land mine. Todd was also a standout in "Breakout/The Danger Within" (1959, as the colonel passionately committed to escape) and "The Long and the Short and the Tall" (1961, pulling down top-billing as the dogged, worried sergeant), not to mention appearing as one of the 43 stars of "The Longest Day" (1962).

In the 70s, Todd returned to the stage with a vengeance, founding Triumph Theatre Productions and touring extensively in the company's plays. He even performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in two 1974 productions, "The Hollow Crown" and "Pleasure and Repentance." His turn as an LSD-advocating, hippie messiah in "The Love-Ins" (1967) may have been a bad trip, but then most of his later features were either trashy or forgettable (or both), with perhaps the exception being the remake of "The Big Sleep" (1978). Todd returned to familiar WWII terrain as General Benjamin Cutler in the British miniseries "Jenny's War" (1985) and played Lord Roberts of Kandahar in the syndicated miniseries "Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls" (1992). Among his other TV appearances, he portrayed Colonel Alec Scofield in 1989's "The Appointment in Athens" episode of CBS' "Murder, She Wrote" and appeared in "D-Day Remembered: A Musical Tribute from the QE2" (PBS, 1994).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

90 Days (1986)
Government Official
House of the Long Shadows (1982)
Sam Allison
Home Before Midnight (1978)
The Big Sleep (1978)
No. 1 of the Secret Service (1977)
Arthur Loveday
Asylum (1972)
Dorian Gray (1970)
Basil Hallward
Subterfuge (1968)
Col. Victor Redmayne
The Love-Ins (1967)
Dr. Jonathan Barnett
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1965)
Darrell
Coast of Skeletons (1965)
Harry Sanders
Operation Crossbow (1965)
Wing Commander Kendall
Why Bother To Knock (1964)
Bill Ferguson
The Boys (1963)
Victor Webster
Crime Does Not Pay (1962)
Colonel Roberts
Never Let Go (1962)
John Cummings
The Hellions (1962)
Sam Hargis
The Longest Day (1962)
Major Howard
The Long and the Short and the Tall (1961)
Sergeant Mitchem
Intent to Kill (1959)
Bob McLaurin
Breakout (1959)
Chase a Crooked Shadow (1958)
Wardrobe [Prescott]
Naked Earth (1958)
Danny [Halloran]
Saint Joan (1957)
Dunois
Battle Hell (1957)
D-Day the Sixth of June (1956)
John Wynter
Marie Antoinette (1956)
Count Axel De Fresen
The Virgin Queen (1955)
Sir Walter Raleigh
A Man Called Peter (1955)
Peter Marshall
The Dam Busters (1955)
Wing Commander Guy Gibson
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue (1954)
Rob Roy MacGregor
The Sword and the Rose (1953)
Charles Brandon
Affair in Monte Carlo (1953)
The young man
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)
[Robin Fitzooth, also known as] Robin Hood
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
Richard Trevelyan
Stage Fright (1950)
Jonathan Cooper
The Hasty Heart (1950)
The Scot, "Lachie" McLachlen

Producer (Feature Film)

Why Bother To Knock (1964)
Executive Producer

Editing (Feature Film)

Princes in Exile (1990)
Editor

Costume-Wardrobe (Feature Film)

Shattered Spirits (1986)
Costumes

Film Production - Construction/Set (Feature Film)

Duel of Hearts (1992)
Carpenter

Cast (Special)

D-Day Remembered -- A Musical Tribute From the QE2 (1994)
Not Guilty! (1974)
George Tulliver

Cast (Short)

King & Queen Meet the Stars (1954)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls (1992)
Jenny's War (1985)

Life Events

1938

Was a founding member of Dundee Repertory, Scotland

1948

Feature acting debut in "For Them That Trespass"

1949

Received Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his first leading role as a feisty Scotsman in "The Hasty Heart"

1950

Acted in Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright"

1952

Starred as Robin Hood in "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men"

1953

Appeared as Heathcliff in BBC-TV version of "Wuthering Heights"

1954

First film with director Michael Anderson, "The Dam Busters", playing Wing Commander Guy Gibson

1954

Played title role in "Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue"

1955

Sensitively portrayed US Senate chaplain Peter Marshall in Henry Koster's "A Man Called Peter"

1955

Appeared as Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Bette Davis in "The Virgin Queen", directed by Koster

1956

Acted with Dana Wynter and Robert Taylor in "D-Day the Sixth of June", the third and last collaboration with Koster

1958

Reteamed with Anderson on "Chase a Crooked Shadow"

1959

Headlined the cast of "Breakout/Danger Within", as exciting tale of the escape of British POWs from Italian prison camp near end of WWII

1961

Starred in "The Long and the Short and the Tall", a well-delineated account of a British patrol unit in WWII

1962

Was part of the all-star cast of "The Longest Day"

1963

First time as Inspector Harry Sanders in "Sanders"

1964

Executive produced and starred in "Why Bother to Knock"

1964

Reprised role of Sanders in "Coast of Skeletons"

1965

Acted in Anderson's fine impossible mission tale, "Operation Crossbow", taking another turn as a Wing Commander, this time named Kendall

1967

Played college professor-hippie messiah in "The Love-Ins"

1968

Was executive associate producer of "The Name of the Game Is Kill" (did not act in)

1970

Founded Triumph Theatre Productions and toured in various plays throughout the 70s in England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA

1970

Portrayed Basil Howard in the trashy remake "Dorian Gray"

1974

Acted in Royal Shakespeare Company productions of "The Hollow Crown" and "Pleasure and Repentance"

1975

Starred in Australian stage production of "Equus"

1978

Played Commander Barker in the remake of "The Big Sleep"

1982

Had featured part in "House of the Long Shadows", notable primarily for presence of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine in small roles

1985

Co-starred with Robert Hardy and Elke Sommer in "Jenny's War", a British miniseries starring Dyan Cannon

1989

Appeared as Colonel Alec Scofield in "Appointment in Athens" episode of "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS)

1992

Portrayed Lord Roberts of Kandehar in syndicated miniseries "Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls"

1994

Appeared as himself in "D-Day Remembered: A Musical Tribute from the QE2" (PBS)

1996

Was an interviwee for the documentary "Marlene: Shadows and Light"

Photo Collections

The Sword and the Rose - Movie Posters
The Sword and the Rose - Movie Posters
The Hasty Heart - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from Warner Bros' The Hasty Heart (1950), starring Patricia Neal, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Todd. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Chase A Crooked Shadow (1958) - Barcelona Opening scenes, introducing apparent high society criminals Richard Todd (who will pose as "Ward" Prescott), Faith Brook as his colleague "Elaine," Anne Baxter as their mark "Kimberly," Alexander Knox her kindly uncle, from Cast A Crooked Shadow, 1959.
Chase A Crooked Shadow (1958) - My Brother's Dead! Officer Vargas (Herbert Lom) on Spain's Costa Brava, taking a call from emotionally fragile South African heiress Kimberley (Anne Baxter), trying to deal with Richard Todd, just arrived, insisting he's her brother, early in Chase A Crooked Shadow, 1958.
Chase A Crooked Shadow (1958) - Our Swimming Drink Grieving heiress Kimberley (Anne Baxter) making a call from her Spanish villa, trying to convince somebody that Richard Todd is posing as her dead brother "Ward," in Chase A Crooked Shadow, 1958.
Love-Ins, The (1967) - The Joe Pyne Show Richard Todd is professor Barnett, who’s resigned over students being expelled for printing a hippie newspaper, James MacArthur and Susan Oliver cheering him on, as he appears with the real California talk-radio and TV pioneer Joe Pyne, in producer Sam Katzman’s The Love-Ins, 1967.
Love-Ins, The (1967) - Tomorrow's Times Just Richard Todd, as professor Barnett, who’s taking in the hippie scene in San Francisco, having quit his job to protest the expulsion of his students for publishing an underground newspaper, mostly liking what he sees, in producer Sam Katzman’s low-rent The Love-Ins, 1967.
Love-Ins, The (1967) - Trippin' To The Wonderland Professor Barnett (Richard Todd) is now buying into his role as guru to a hippie community, and Elliott (Mark Goddard) is charging admission for this event, where Larry (James MacArthur) gets worried as Patricia (Susan Oliver) wants more acid, the band not credited, in The Love-Ins, 1967.
Stage Fright (1950) - I Think He's Dead Following the credits, panicked actor Jonathan (Richard Todd) with not-quite girlfriend Eve (Jane Wyman), then recounting the incident with diva Charlotte (Marlene Dietrich), from Hitchcock's Stage Fright, 1950.
Stage Fright (1950) - You And Captain Kidd Aspiring actress Eve (Jane Wyman) with her somewhat dissolute sailor father (Alistair Sim), to whom she's fled with almost-boyfriend Jonathan (Richard Todd), a possible suspect in his lover's husband's murder, in Hitchcock's Stage Fright, 1950.
Battle Of The Villa Fiorita, The (1965) - I'll Call My Solicitor Tight direction by Delmer Daves, as Moira (Maureen O'Hara) has just told husband Darrell (Richard Todd), home from a summer abroad, that she's fallen for the visiting Italian composer (Rosanno Brazzi), neighbors gossiping and children (Martin Stephens, Elizabeth Dear) worrying, in The Battle Of The Villa Fiorita, 1965.
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) - I Have Need Of You Convict Trevelyan (Richard Todd), his execution drawing nigh, is visited by Father Paul (Rhys Williams), then a news editor (Leo Cleary) is baffled, opening King Vidor's Lightning Strikes Twice, 1951.
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) - Where Are Your Shoes? Exhausted actress Shelley (Ruth Roman), defeated in her attempt to reach her dude-ranch getaway, pulls up to the house where Trevelyan (Richard Todd), the recently pardoned murder convict, resides, in King Vidor's Lightning Strikes Twice, 1951.
Saint Joan (1957) - Not A Man Will Follow Just appointed to lead the French army, Joan (Jean Seberg) impresses field commander Dunois (Richard Todd) with her attitude and skills, in Saint Joan, 1957, Otto Preminger directing Graham Greene's script from George Bernard Shaw's play.

Trailer

Family

Andrew William Palethorpe-Todd
Father
Marvill Palethorpe-Todd
Mother
Peter Palethorpe-Todd
Son
Mother, Catherine Grant-Bogle.
Fiona Palethorpe-Todd
Daughter
Mother, Catherine Grant-Bogle.
Andrew Palethorpe-Todd
Son
Mother, Virginia Mailer.
Seamus Palethorpe-Todd
Son
Born c. 1977; mother, Virginia Mailer; committed suicide in December 1997.

Companions

Catherine Grant-Bogle
Wife
Married c. 1949; divorced in 1969.
Virginia Ann Mailer
Wife
Model. Married in 1970.

Bibliography

"In Camera"
Richard Todd (1989)
"Caught in the Act: The Story of My Life"
Richard Todd, Hutchinson (1986)

Notes

Awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1993

Commenting on directors with whom he has worked, Richard Todd told Tony Williams (FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, Fall 1998): "I was very much in awe of [Hitchcock], but I did discover he wasn't very helpful as a director. . . . he's a great filmmaker but not a great actor's film director. King Vidor was a charming man, very nice to me indeed, very sage and wise about films in general, but perhaps a bit old-fashioned. . . . Vincent Sherman . . . There is a good film director and a great actor's director. The others, like Henry Koster and Michael Anderson, people I enjoyed working with."