|Height:||175 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||June 11, 1919|
|Death Date:||3 December 2009(2009-12-03) (aged 90)
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
|Birth Place:||Dublin, Ireland, Ireland|
|#2||Catherine Stewart Crawford Grant-Bogle||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Richard Todd died on 3 December 2009(2009-12-03) (aged 90)
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|175 cm (5' 9'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He first appeared professionally as an actor at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park in 1936 in a production of Twelfth Night. He played in regional theatres and then co-founded the Dundee Repertory Theatre in Scotland in 1939. He also appeared as an extra in British films including Good Morning, Boys (1937), A Yank at Oxford (1938) and Old Bones of the River (1939).
Todd enlisted soon after the outbreak of the Second World War, entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in late 1940. On 29 January 1941, he was one of 26 cadets injured when 'D' Block of New College was hit by a German bomb in an attack by the Luftwaffe. In his memoirs, he describes seeing the bomb pass through the ceiling in front of him before he was blown out of the building by its blast, landing on a grass bank and suffering multiple lacerations, five cadets were killed in the incident. Todd was commissioned in the spring of 1941. On the day he received his commission, he tried to join several friends at the Café de Paris in London, but could not get a table booked for the evening. That evening, the venue was destroyed in an air raid, and 15 newly commissioned subalterns were killed.
He served in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI), then joined the Parachute Regiment and the 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion as part of the British 6th Airborne Division. On 6 June 1944, as a captain, he participated in Operation Tonga during the D-Day landings. He was among the first British soldiers to land in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord. His battalion parachuted in after glider-borne forces had landed to capture the Pegasus Bridge near Caen. During the operation he met John Howard on the bridge and was involved in helping to repulse counter-attacks by the Wehrmacht forces in the area. Todd played Howard in the film The Longest Day, recreating these events.
The Boys (1962) was a courtroom drama film in which Todd played the lead prosecuting barrister. He had a good part among the many stars in The Longest Day (1962), playing Major John Howard during the paratroop action before D-Day in which he had taken part in 1944 (another actor portrayed Todd); this was his biggest hit for some time. He appeared in The Very Edge (1963), a thriller, then he played Harry Sanders in two films for Harry Alan Towers: Death Drums Along the River and Coast of Skeletons (both 1965). He also had a small role in Anderson's Operation Crossbow (1965).
After three months fighting in Normandy, 6th Airborne Division was withdrawn back to the UK to reconstitute, but returned to the continent three months later as emergency reinforcements to halt the German offensive in the Ardennes. Short of transport as they advanced into Germany, Todd, as the motor transport officer, was responsible for gathering a rag-tag selection of commandeered vehicles to ferry troops forward. After VE day, the division returned to the UK for a few weeks, then was sent on counter-insurgency operations in Palestine. Todd returned to the UK to be demobbed in 1946.
After the war, Todd was unsure what direction to take in his career. His former agent, Robert Lennard, had become a casting agent for Associated British Picture Corporation and advised him to try out for the Dundee Repertory Company. Todd did so, performing in plays such as Claudia, where he appeared with Catherine Grant-Bogle, who became his first wife. Lennard arranged for a screen test and Associated British offered him a long-term contract in 1948. He was cast in the lead in For Them That Trespass (1949), directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. The film was a minor hit and Todd's career was launched.
Todd had appeared in the Dundee Repertory stage version of John Patrick's play The Hasty Heart, portraying the role of Yank and was chosen to appear in the 1948 London stage version of the play, this time in the leading role of Cpl. Lachlan McLachlan. This led to his being cast in that role in the Warner Bros. film adaptation of the play, filmed in Britain, alongside Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal. Todd was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role in 1949. He was also voted favourite British male film star in Britain's National Film Awards. The film was the tenth most popular movie at the British box office in 1949.
In 1953, he appeared in a BBC adaptation of the novel Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff. Nigel Kneale, responsible for the adaptation, said the production came about purely because Todd had turned up at the BBC and told them that he would like to play Heathcliff for them. Kneale had to write the script in only a week as the broadcast was rushed into production.
Even more popular was The Dam Busters (1955) in which Todd played Wing Commander Guy Gibson. This was the most successful film at the British box office in 1955 and became the defining role of Todd's movie career.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions: in March 1960 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC's Lime Grove Studios; and in November 1988 when Michael Aspel surprised him on stage at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
Both Todd's marriages ended in divorce. His first wife was actress Catherine Grant-Bogle, whom he met in Dundee Repertory and was married to from 1949 until 1970; they had a son, Peter (1952–2005), and a daughter, Fiona. In 1960 he had a son Jeremy with model Patricia Nelson. He was married to model Virginia Mailer from 1970 until 1992; they had two sons, Andrew and Seumas (1977–1997).
In 1964. he was a member of the jury at the 14th Berlin International Film Festival.
In the 1970s, he gained new fans when he appeared as the reader for Radio Four's Morning Story. In the 1980s, his distinctive voice was heard as narrator of Wings Over the World, a 13-part documentary series about the history of aviation shown on Arts & Entertainment television. He appeared before the camera in the episode about the Lancaster bomber. Todd continued to act on television, including roles in Virtual Murder; Silent Witness and in the Doctor Who story "Kinda" in 1982. In 1989, he appeared in the first episode of the sixth season of Murder, She Wrote in which he played Colonel Alex Schofield in the episode titled "Appointment in Athens".
Richard Todd was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.
Two of Todd's five children died by suicide. In 1997, Seumas Palethorpe-Todd shot himself in the head at the family home in Lincolnshire; an inquest determined that the suicide might have been a depressive reaction to the drug he was taking for severe acne. On 21 September 2005, Peter killed himself with a shotgun in East Malling, Kent, following marital difficulties. His sons' suicides affected Todd profoundly, and he admitted to visiting their adjoining graves regularly. He told the Daily Mail that dealing with those tragedies was like his experience of war: "You don't consciously set out to do something gallant. You just do it because that is what you are there for."
His acting career extended into his 80s, and he made several appearances in British shows such as Heartbeat and The Royal. He appeared in The Royal as Hugh Hurst, a retired solicitor, in the episode "Kiss and Tell" (2003); his last appearance in Heartbeat was as Major Harold Beecham in the 2007 episode "Seeds of Destruction".
Todd died at his home near Grantham in Lincolnshire on 3 December 2009. His body was buried between his two sons Seumas and Peter at St. Guthlac's Church in Little Ponton in the county of Lincolnshire. The gravestone's epitaph reads "Richard Andrew Palethorpe Todd, 1919–2009, husband of Virginia and Kitty, loving father of Peter, Fiona, Andrew, Seumas and Jeremy, Exit Dashing Young Blade" (a reference to the Queen Mother's description of him).
Currently, Richard Todd is 103 years, 0 months and 15 days old. Richard Todd will celebrate 104th birthday on a Sunday 11th of June 2023.
Find out about Richard Todd birthday activities in timeline view here.