Rest In Peace Ian Richardson
I just heard on the BBC the sad news that Ian Richardson, one of the finest British Actors of his generation has died today. I had a look at the site and saw there wasn't a story up, so I thought I should pass this sad news along as someone of Richardson's standing really ought to warrant a mention.
To Brits, Richardson is probably best known for his role as Francis Urquhart, the scheming, utterly amoral and ruthless Prime Minister in the dramas House of Cards, To Play the King and The Final Cut. His performance in those programmes was compelling and masterful, and the shows remain among the best example of British television drama in the last 30 years.
But Richardson was a great deal more than just one magnificent role. He was a founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and played many of the great Shakespeare roles in his time, often to considerable acclaim. He lended gravitas to any production he appeared in, whether in television, film or on the stage, and he was added in the this by his voice, a deep sonorous toned voice, like Christopher Lee without the ham.
Geeks will know him as sinister Mr. Book in Dark City, where his slow, precise delivery made him the perfect counterbalance to the desperate characters portrayed by his co-stars, and maybe for his role as Lord Sepulchrave in the adaption of Gormenghast. He was also the voice of Death in the recent adaption of Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather, a perfect piece of casting for character who's voice was described as "like coffin lids slamming" by the authors.
Possibly the only English actor of his generation who should have been regarded as up there with Olivier, Geilgud and Richardson, he never seemed to get the recognition that he deserved, but any production he was in was made better for his presence, even if the material was frequently beneath him.
RIP Mr Richardson.
If you mention this call me Psychonaut