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|Also Known As:||Sherman A Todd||Died:|
|Born:||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Profession:||Editing ...|
Born in Ireland and raised in England, handsome leading man Richard Todd was a founding member of the Dundee Repertory Theatre of Scotland prior to his long and distinguished WWII service, first with the King's Own Light Infantry and later with a parachute regiment. After the war, he burst upon the scene as the doomed Scot of "The Hasty Heart" (1949), earning an Oscar nomination as Best Actor for his compelling performance, and he would also deliver one of his most highly-acclaimed portrayals as another Scotsman, US Senate chaplain Peter Marshall, in Henry Koster's "A Man Called Peter" (1955). Todd was a dashing Robin Hood (though overshadowed by his supporting characters) in "Robin Hood and His Merrie Men" (1953) and an ambitious Sir Walter Raleigh, whose eye for toothsome Joan Collins alienates the affections of monarch Bette Davis in Koster's "The Virgin Queen" (also 1955), but for the most part, his best work came in World War II dramas that gave the former soldier the chance for his art to imitate his life.
Beginning a four picture collaboration with director Michael Anderson in "The Dam Breakers" (1954), Todd made a distinguished showing as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the real-life story of the triumphant British raid against the Ruhr dams, carrying the picture with the help of Michael Redgrave, and reteamed with the director for "Yangtse Incident/Battle Hell" (1956), another true story, this time of a British ship stranded on the Red Chinese-dominated Yangtse River in 1949. Although his third film with the director, "Chase a Crooked Shadow" (1958), was a Hitchcock-like melodrama, he returned as a Wing Commander (this time named Kendall) for their last film together, "Operation Crossbow" (1965), and though Koster's fine "D-Day, the Sixth of June" (1956) cast him in a love triangle with Dana Wynter and Robert Taylor, his character was the one that did not live to see the end of the movie, stepping tragically on a land mine. Todd was also a standout in "Breakout/The Danger Within" (1959, as the colonel passionately committed to escape) and "The Long and the Short and the Tall" (1961, pulling down top-billing as the dogged, worried sergeant), not to mention appearing as one of the 43 stars of "The Longest Day" (1962).
In the 70s, Todd returned to the stage with a vengeance, founding Triumph Theatre Productions and touring extensively in the company's plays. He even performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in two 1974 productions, "The Hollow Crown" and "Pleasure and Repentance." His turn as an LSD-advocating, hippie messiah in "The Love-Ins" (1967) may have been a bad trip, but then most of his later features were either trashy or forgettable (or both), with perhaps the exception being the remake of "The Big Sleep" (1978). Todd returned to familiar WWII terrain as General Benjamin Cutler in the British miniseries "Jenny's War" (1985) and played Lord Roberts of Kandahar in the syndicated miniseries "Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls" (1992). Among his other TV appearances, he portrayed Colonel Alec Scofield in 1989's "The Appointment in Athens" episode of CBS' "Murder, She Wrote" and appeared in "D-Day Remembered: A Musical Tribute from the QE2" (PBS, 1994).
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