came the immensely successful and critically acclaimed series in which
this stylish actor was really able to cut loose into a role that was
made for him. He depicted Francis Urquart – the Cabinet Whip and
eventual Prime Minister who deviously masterminded his own rise to power.
It was said at the time of the series appearing on TV, that the then
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, rescheduled meetings so she wouldn't
miss it. This brought him three nominations for Best Actor in British
Academy Award he was successful in wining one of those awards.
1992 he also starred as Rex Hunt in the TV drama 'An Ungentlemany Act'.As
Governor Rex Hunt, Richardson brought a nobility and sympathy to the
role of a minor, passed-over British diplomat abandoned by his government
in London and faced with the impossible task of directing the defence
of the islands against an imminent invasion. The defending British Marines
are commanded by Major Mike Norman (Bob Peck), an experienced, cynical
soldier aware he will have to fight against impossible odds, yet determined
to resist for the honour of the Royal Marines. Ian was nominated for
two awards for his role including another BAFTA.
one of his greatest film roles is that of ‘Mr Book’ in Alex
Proyas' Dark City (1998). He played (alongside Richard O’Brien)
one of the many cloaked figures who creates and maintains the city where
all is not as it appears. The film is superb and includes stellar performances
from Rufus Sewell, Keifer Sutherland and William Hurt. Dark, brooding
and brilliantly written this film seemed to miss the American Academy
Awards (perhaps because there was not enough over acting!). It did manage
to win several of the film festival categories although nothing for
then appeared as Mr. Torte in '102 Dalmatians' (2000) and Sir Charles
Warren in the excellent version of the Rippers tale in 'From Hell' (2001).
More television work followed with the brilliant 'Strange' 2003 where
he played a rather sinister cleric. He showed his great comic timing
a few years later playing Death in the film adaptation of Terry Pratchetts
book - 'The Hogfather' 2006.
course in between all these films he carried on his theatre work. He
joined Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Donald Sinden and Dame Diana Rigg in an
international tour of 'The Hollow Crown' for example. He was appointed
CBE in 1989 and was married to Maroussia Frank with two children.
died on the 9th February 2007, peacefully in his sleep. Dame Helen Mirren
dedicated her BAFTA to him during the 2007 awards ceremony saying,
became a mentor to me, he helped me believe in myself. Ian Richardson,
I'm not too sure I would be here today if it wasn't for you'
had a superb career,and I was very lucky to do all those big Shakesperean
roles in my twenties. What really matters to me now is not my CBE nor
my acting awards but my family and my beautiful estate in Devon'
films to see:
Rooms (2000) TV
Dark City (1998)
House of Cards (1990) TV