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Richard Todd (1919 -- 2009)

Dublin born, Richard Todd, grew up in Devon and began his career with a great interest in the theatre where he made his first professional appearance as an actor at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park in Twelfth Night (1936) and later appeared in The Hasty Heart on Broadway. He then went on to make his first film appearance in 1948 in the film version of Hasty Heart. His performance earned him a Golden Globe win in the category ‘Most promising Newcomer – Male’ and an Oscar nomination for best Actor. Richard Todd continued his career in film working with Alfred Hitchcock in Stage Fright (1950) amongst other various film and television projects over 50 years.

Having been one of the first British soldiers to parachute into France on D-Day and having portrayed well known characters such as Robin Hood and Rob Roy, Richard Todd was both a hero on screen and real life hero. His most memorable role was in The Dam Busters (1955) in which he played Wing Commander Guy Gibson.

Richard Todd was made an OBE in 1993 and was last seen on screen in a 2007 episode of ITV drama Heartbeat. Director Michael Winner who worked with Todd on The Big Sleep (1978) described him as ‘a splendid person and a very, very good actor’.