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richard todd
(1919-2009)

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todd

r i c h a r d   t o d d  :   b i o g r a p h y  ]


"I miss him desperately, and I still call his name out loud
and talk to him every day"

- Richard Todd on his son's death


signed photo added - smartphones page


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todd


    update

    (04/12/09)

    Such sad news that the great man has passed away at the age of 90. A spokesman for the family revelealed that he passed away in his sleep last night at his home near Grantham, Lincolnshire.

    His spokeswoman said: 'He had been suffering from cancer, an illness that he bore with his habitual courage and dignity. His family were with him throughout.'

    This is it, really, one of the last living links to classic movie The Dambusters now gone (as far as I know only John Fraser, George Baker, Gerald Harper in a bit part & the geezer from Emmerdale are still alive). I always thought of Richard Todd as indestructible, that he would be there and would remain as a link to the great British film era of the 1950s. Can't really believe it and it will take awhile to sink in.

    I'm just a fan and like all fans will always see him as the perfect British gentleman (though he was originally from Ireland). Every film he was in he made better just by his presence.

    He didn't suffer fools gladly and I was one of them! Through his agent he once wrote to me to reproach me for the inaccurate info I had here on aspects of The Dambusters and I considered myself reproached. But he still had the grace to send me a signed photo.

    His Guy Gibson in the aforementioned Dambusters will remain as one of the great symbols of the British War Effort. Never mind he actually fought in the 2nd World War for real.

    He lived in Lincolnshire, the same county from where the real Dambusters were based (at Scampton).

    I'm sure I speak for all fans when I say that I will miss him even though I didn't know him. That is the beauty of the big screen. It brings into your life something wonderful and without it we would never have known him.

    One of the last things I saw him in was the D-Day Special piece he did for the News of the World. A short piece, it is on youtube and can be seen here. Really poignant stuff.

    Added a tribute page where you can leave you thoughts via e-mail. I won't include your e-mail address or surname on the page.


    Yangtse Incident


    Making of: Yangtse Incident Remembered



    Print
    Richard Todd
    The Dam Busters
    Cotton Canvas Print


    --------------


    (10/05/08)

    Added British Dvd War Collection. All the individual Dvds from the great period of the 1940s & 50s.

    (22/09/05)

    Richard Todd loses a second son 'in suicide'.

    The actor was said to be 'devastated' last night after the suspected suicide of his eldest son - eight years after another of his sons took his own life.

    Peter Todd, 53, is believed to have killed himself in a car close to his home in Kent.

    The 1950s matinee idol, who is now aged 86, was told the news yesterday afternoon at his home in the Lincolnshire village of Little Humby.

    Mr Todd's youngest son Seumas was just 20 when he killed himself with a shotgun in 1997. He was found by another of the actor's sons, Andrew.

    Peter Todd, along with daughter Fiona, was born following Mr Todd's first marriage in 1949, to Catherine Bogle.

    In 1970, the marriage was dissolved and the actor married Virginia Mailer. They had two children, Andrew and Seumas, but divorced in 1992.


    biography

    Richard Todd, born Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd in Dublin, Ireland in 1919, spent a few of his childhood years in India, where his father served as an army physician. Later his family relocated to West Devon, England. He attended Shrewsbury Public School.

    Upon leaving school, Todd trained for a potential military career at Sandhurst before inaugurating his acting training at the Italia Conta school. He helped organize the Dundee Repertory Theatre, then spent six years' service in World War II, first as an officer in the Yorkshire Light Infantry, then as a paratrooper with the the 7th Battalion (LI) The Parachute Regiment. Todd served with distinction and on D-Day this Battalion made contact with Major Howard at the Orne Bridge now called Pegasus Bridge. Todd was the officer who made contact. In the Darryl F. Zanuck's D-Day recreation The Longest Day (1962) he played Major Howard and the meeting with Todd was one scene. In D Day The 6th of June (1956) he played the commander of his Battalion in the filming of the same scene.

    After the war, he rejoined the Dundee rep, then made his West End debut as The Scot, the ill-tempered, dying protagonist of John Patrick's play The Hasty Heart. In 1949, Todd began his film career when he was tapped to recreate his Hasty Heart characterization before the cameras; the performance would earn him an Academy Award nomination. His co-star in the film, Ronald Reagan, became a life long friend.

    Highlights of Todd's 1950s film output include his portrayal of Marlene Dietrich's castaway beau in Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950), his swashbuckling heroics in Disney's The Story of Robin Hood (1952), The Sword and the Rose (1953) and Rob Roy, The Highland Rogue (1954), and his sensitive performance as "Chaplain of the Presidents" Peter Marshall in A Man Called Peter,

    His military derring-do in the 1954 British box-office smash The Dam Busters was his finest hour. This was at rue story of how the British attacked German dams in the 2nd World War by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

    Todd's achievments in The Dam Busters (directed by Michael Anderson), are made more remarkable when you consider the real life character he portrayed, Wing Cmdr. Guy Gibson was actually a decade younger than Todd when the real life dam busting took place during the 2nd World War. Also from accounts from others who participated in the missions, Gibson wasn't well liked, a bit of a loner - Todd at least gives the character some likeability and it is arguable that without it the film would have failed. The film does have some minor faults; it never really gets over the problems in making the special effects with water believable. Moreover, the build up of tension until the climax in the last 15 minutes could have been better and the language of those on the mission really is too polite. Those on the mission have confirmed that in the tension of the death defying mission much stronger language was used than the British politeness portrayed in the film! And, finally, the actual bombs were the wrong shape! But these qualms aside, it is a classic and in the middle of all of it, holding it together, was Richard Todd.

    Tagline for The Dam Busters:

      The story of the "bombs that had to bounce" - and the air-devils who had to drop 'em!

    Although he devoted more and more of his energies to the stage in the late 1950s-early 1960s, Todd served as executive producer on 1961's Why Bother to Knock and later portrayed a Timothy Leary clone in 1967's The Love-Ins. More recently the actor's achievements include stage actor and producer. Todd lists Equus as his favorite stage production, though it's likely that his eight-year run in the Mayfair Theatre presentation The Business of Murder was kinder to his bank account.

    In 1987, Richard Todd published Caught in the Act, the first volume of his memoirs.

    He has been married twice:

      Virginia Mailer (1970 - 1992) (divorced) 2 children
      Catherine Grant-Bogle (1949 - 1970) (divorced) 2 children

    One of his sons from his second marriage, Seamus Palethorpe-Todd (born. 1977), committed suicide in 1997.

    Currently, he resides at his farm in Lincolnshire.

    He was recently seen as part of the remembrance 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.


    address

    Richard Todd
    c/o Richard Stone Partnership
    2 Henrietta Street
    London
    WC2E 8PS
    United Kingdom



    -------------------


    dvd


    The 14th June 2010 sees the special edition of The Dam Busters (digitally remastered) released on Dvd and Blu-ray in the UK. I'm not sure yet just what are the special features on the Dvd and just hope there are enough befitting such a title. Fingers crossed but I suppose 'digitally remastered' is a good starting point,

    Available: amazon.co.uk



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    gallery


Richard Todd Richard Todd Richard Todd
Richard Todd Richard Todd Richard Todd
Richard Todd Richard Todd Leaning on Front of Car
by William Sumits Richard Todd
Richard Todd Richard Todd Richard Todd
Richard Todd Richard Todd Signed Photo


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