the late Sixties Todd concentrated on character roles and returned to
the theatre, his first love. It was rumoured that he was the first choice
of author Ian Fleming to play James Bond in "Dr. No" but a
scheduling conflict gave the role to Sean Connery. During the late Sixties,
he appeared in West End productions such as Oscar Wilde’s ‘An
Ideal Husband’. Like all the 50s male stars, Todd struggled to
find effective roles in films during the 1960’s, often playing
roles as high-ranking officers, overshadowed by American leads, as in
‘Operation Crossbow’ (1965) . He resumed his stage career
and was also regularly seen on television.
recently the actor's achievements included 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 1986, Richard Todd published
‘Caught in the Act’, the first volume of his memoirs.
In 1991, he appeared in a character role in the international co-production
Incident at Victoria Falls, featuring Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes
and Patrick MacNee as Dr. Watson. Todd occasionally appeared in episodes
of American and British television productions such as ‘The Danny
Thomas Hour’ (1967) and ‘Doctor Who’ (1982).
He also recently returned to public attention under very tragic circumstances.
In December 1997, his 20-year-old son Seamus Palethorpe-Todd (from his
second marriage) committed suicide. In a series of articles written
for The Sunday Times the actor ascribed the death to the bleak circumstances
facing young people in contemporary Britain.
he took his life after only one term at university, I have begun to
wonder whether his tragedy is related to the predicament that so many
young people find themselves in nowadays, forced to live miserably,
unhealthily, and in debt in order to achieve a university degree that
is no longer even a fairly sure guarantee of employment at any level."
‘His death has severely taxed my faith in
the goodness of God and my belief in the hereafter. I miss him desperately,
and I still call his name out loud and talk to him every day.’
Then, as if this father had not suffered enough, Peter, Richards eldest
son from his first marriage, shot himself on 21 September 2005 - the
same method his half-brother Seumas had used 8 years earlier. Peter's
reason was that his marriage was ending.
Richard then worked on TV and in the last few years had appeared in
‘Heartbeat’, ‘Holby City’, ‘The Royal’
and ‘Midsomer Murders’. He had a distinguished career in
both theatre, cinema and the Brtish Armed Forces. He was awarded an
OBE by the Queen in 1993. He passed away gently in his sleep in December
On his courage in getting on with life, Todd says 'it is rather like
something that happens to men in war. You don't consciously set out
to do something gallant. You just do it because that is what you are
the end of his life Richard was asked what it meant to be British he
replied 'it means fairness, good sense, decency, kindness, politeness.'
Caught in the Act (1986)
films to see:
The Hasty Heart (1949)
A Man called Peter (1955)
The Longest Day (1962)