February 23, 2017

Richard Todd dies, aged 90

richard-toddRichard Todd, best known for his role in classic war film The Dam Busters, has died at the age of 90, after a battle with cancer.

Todd, a war hero in his own right, was also known for playing dashing heroes like Robin Hood and Rob Roy. Born in Dublin in 1919, Todd was one of the first British soldiers to parachute into France on D-Day.

A spokesman for his family said he died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday at his home near Grantham in Lincolnshire. Made in 1955, The Dam Busters told of the development of the bouncing bomb used during World War II to destroy the Ruhr dams in Germany.

Todd played Wing Commander Guy Gibson, leader of the 1943 mission codenamed Operation Chastise. The actor, who was made an OBE in 1993, was last seen on screen in a 2007 episode of ITV drama Heartbeat.

Todd’s other movies include the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Stage Fright and the 1962 war film The Longest Day. He also appeared in four episodes of Doctor Who in the 1980s, opposite Peter Davison’s Doctor.

In 1950, he was nominated for the best actor Oscar for his work opposite future US president Ronald Reagan in The Hasty Heart. It was around this time that he first worked for the Disney studio, an association that led him to be named a ‘Disney Legend’ in 2002. Todd would later make light of his roles in The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, The Sword and the Rose and Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue – selected as the Royal Film in 1953.

“My image was all daring deeds, until my swash began to buckle a bit,” he remembered. The actor, whose full name was Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd, began acting on stage in 1937. With the outbreak of World War II, however, he volunteered for duty, serving with distinction in the Army, the Infantry and the Parachute Regiment.

Todd’s youngest son Seamus shot himself in 1997 at the age of 20. Eight years later, Todd’s eldest son Peter also took his own life after suffering depression.

Source: BBC

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Britmovie webmaster has written 429 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Steve, the Britmovie admin with a love of British cinema especially Ealing Studios output and 50s/60s b-movie crime films.

  • David

    Very sad news, great actor, one of his great films that seems to get overlooked is, Never Let Go a must for any film fan.
    A great loss

  • Venusintransit

    The last of the proper british actors, he will be missed as apart from being a dam good actor he was a very nice man who could look on the bright side of life and at his own acting. rest in peace Richard, at least we can still see and hear you even though you have left us.

  • Gerry

    Mr. Todd was my most favorite actor of all time….As an American, I’d like to thank Mr. Todd for giving us 60 more years of freedom for his deeds in WW2 and thank you for your life in so many good movies especially The Hasty Heart with President Ronald Reagan of ” somewhere on The Roc River in Dickson, Illinois, USA .” Thank you Mr. Todd…..See you on the other side ! My deepest regrets to Fiona Margaret, Andrew,Virginia, and friends…….

  • John D

    Richard Todd had one of those ageless faces which seemed to exude integrity and believability in most of the roles he played. Looked like the sort of chap you could sit and have a cup of tea and intelligent conversation with. Good to know he had such a long life. One of the great British actors.

  • Bob Martin

    I was greatly saddened by this news of my good friend Dickie Todd, I worked with him on several films, (“The Hellions” & “Saunders of the river”) for those who are interested in hearing more about this amazing man, go to my web-site and find him under ‘Film’ tab after opening my picture of him click on the small blue title below the picture, you will then go into ‘Flickr’ where there is an anecdotal caption to the picture I should add that I have just turned 80!