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Richard Todd Biography


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Birth Name: Richard Todd
Born: 06/11/1919
Birth Place: Dublin, IE
Death Place: Grantham, Lincolnshire, GB
Died: 12/03/2009


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).