Richard Todd Biography


Birthday: June 11, 1919 (Gemini)

Born In: Dublin, Ireland

Richard Todd, born into an aristocratic Irish family, became a soldier and then a very successful actor in both British and American cinema. His role of a Wing Commander in the British Air Force in the film ‘Dam Busters’ made him very famous. His mother wanted him to join the Diplomatic Service but he decided to become a playwright. Later on he changed his decision to become an actor instead. The lead roles played by him in many war movies were appreciated all over the world as he used his first-hand experience of the war to bring out the maximum effect in each role. In real life he was a part of the parachute regiment of the 7th battalion that was parachuted into Normandy on the D-Day of the Second World War. He made the first contact with the troops flown into Normandy in gliders led by Major Howard assigned to defend the Pegasus Bridge. After the war ended, he went back to his first love, the theatre, and performed in many roles. His luck changed for the better when he got a chance to act in films where he was more successful in portraying characters from the armed forces.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In June

Also Known As: Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd, Richard Todd OBE, Richard Andrew Palethorpe Todd

Died At Age: 90


Spouse/Ex-: Catherine Stewart Crawford Grant-Bogle, Virginia Mailer

father: Andrew William Palethorpe Todd

children: Andrew Palethorpe-Todd, Flora Palethorpe-Todd, Jeremy Palethorpe-Todd, Peter Palethorpe-Todd, Seamus Palethorpe-Todd

Actors British Men

Died on: December 3, 2009

place of death: Little Humby, England

City: Dublin, Ireland

Childhood & Early Life
Richard Todd was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 11, 1919. His father was a physician in the British Army and was posted in India for some time. His mother was famous for her beauty and horsemanship.
He and his family settled in Devon after returning from India where Richard attended the Shrewsbury School.
As the son of a British army officer he enrolled at Sandhurst to follow a military career.
Soon he left Sandhurst to enroll at the ‘Italia Conti Academy’ in London to learn scriptwriting but learnt acting instead.
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His first professional appearance was in the play ‘Twelfth Night’ held at Regent’s Park open air theater in 1936.
In 1939 he founded the ‘Dundee Repertory Theatre’.
He joined the British army during the Second World War and was given a commission in 1941.
He played the role of Corporal Lachian ‘Lachie’ McLachlan in the stage version of ‘The Hasty Heart’ after returning from the war.
In 1948 he played the lead role in ‘For Them That Trespass’ for the ‘Associated British Picture Corporation’.
He again played the role of ‘Lachie’ in Warner Bros film ‘The Hasty Heart’ in 1949 and earned his first Oscar nomination.
His next film was Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Stage Fright’ in 1950 followed by the Hollywood film ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ in 1951. None of these films were box-office hits.
His three Walt Disney films are ‘The Story of Robin Hood and His Merry Men’ in 1952, ‘The Sword and the Rose’ and ‘Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue’ in 1953.
He acted in the television adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’ in 1953.
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His portrayal of the character of Wing Commander Guy Gibson in ‘The Dam Busters’ in 1954 and that of Peter Marshall in ‘A Man called Peter’ in 1955 made him very famous among movie lovers all over the world.
He appeared in the film ‘The Virgin Queen’ in the same year.
He was cast for ‘D-Day, the Sixth of June’ in 1956.
He starred in the films ‘Saint Joan’ and the ‘The Yangtse Incident’ in 1957 and ‘Chase a Crooked Shadow’ in 1958.
In 1959 he acted in the war movies ‘The Danger Within’ and ‘The Long and the Short and the Tall’ in 1961.
‘The Diamond Smugglers’, ‘Queen’s Messengers’ and a film on William Shakespeare were some of his unsuccessful production attempts in 1960.
He was chosen by Ian Fleming to play the role of James Bond in the film ‘Dr. No’ in 1962 but could not do it due to clashing schedules.
In 1962 he acted the role of Major Howard in ‘The Longest Day’ while another actor played his character in the same film.
He acted in the film ‘Death Drums Along The River’ in 1963 and in ‘Coast of Skeletons’ in 1964.
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He was a jury member at the ‘14th Berlin International Film Festival’ in 1964.
In 1965 he appeared in the film ‘Operation Crossbow’.
He played the role of a hippie professor in ‘The Love-Ins’ in 1967.
His notable films during the late 1960s were ‘An Ideal Husband’ (1965) and ‘Dear Octopus’ in (1967).
He founded the ‘Triumph Theater Productions’ in 1970 and toured abroad with many plays.
During the 1970s he worked as a narrator for Radio Four’s ‘Morning Story’ and in the 1980s for the ‘Wings Over the World’ series. In 1974 he toured America with the RSC plays ‘The Hollow Crown’ and ‘Pleasure and Repentance’.
He played the lead role for eight continuous years in ‘Business of Murder’ held at Mayfair Theatre.
In 1982 he appeared in television movies ‘Virtual Murder’, ‘Silent Witness’ and in ‘Kinda’, a story on ‘Doctor Who’
He acted in the television miniseries ‘Jenny’s War’ in 1985.

In 1992 he appeared in the miniseries ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls’.
Awards & Achievements
Richard Todd received the ‘Order of the British Empire’ or OBE in 1993 in recognition of his contribution to drama.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Catherine Stewart Crawford Grant-Bogle on August 13, 1949 and divorced her in 1970. He had a son Peter and a daughter Fiona from this marriage.
He married Virginia Mailer in 1970 and divorced her in 1992. He had two sons, Andrew and Seamus from this marriage.
Richard Todd died of cancer on December 3, 2009 at Little Humby, Lincolnshire, UK.
Humanitarian Work
After retiring from acting he worked as a volunteer for ‘Age Concern’ and raised funds for the Royal British Legion and other charities.


Golden Globe Awards
1950 Most Promising Newcomer - Male The Hasty Heart (1949)

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