Ian Richardson - Rotten Tomatoes

Ian Richardson

Highest Rated:   100% Marat/Sade (1966)
Lowest Rated:   0% Year of the Comet (1992)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Similar to British countrymen and great thespians John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson, although a generation later, Ian Richardson has made more of an enduring career in classical theater and BBC television than in films, although in later years he has gravitated toward the latter. Little did he expect it, but his most memorable (and frequently parodied) role may have been as the limousine occupant who asks, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" in that popular television ad. His dignified countenance and locutions have brought him frequent casting as men of education and refinement.Richardson was born on April 7, 1934, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and studied at the College of Dramatic Art in Glasgow. He first made a name for himself playing Hamlet at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1960, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he began a stint of several years as the leading artist, appearing in a variety of roles. At the RSC, he created the role of Jean Paul Marat in Marat/Sade, reprising it for the much-heralded 1966 film version. Stage success in Stratford, Ontario, and New York would soon follow. His first roles on both the big and small screen were in continuing with his Shakespearean roots. Richardson appeared as Oberon in Peter Hall's well-liked 1968 rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then as Don John in the BBC Much Ado About Nothing in 1978. The actor spent the early '80s in British television movies and series, most notably appearing twice as Sherlock Homes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of Four (both 1983). Richardson began gaining more worldwide recognition with his role as an officious bureaucrat in the dystopian universe of Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985). Soon after Brazil Richardson began garnering regular film work, first appearing in such British films as Cry Freedom and The Fourth Protocol (both 1987), and eventually shifting over to Hollywood. He put a twist on his Shakespearean experience by appearing as Polonius in the 1990 film version of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Richardson traveled through the 1990s without a universally distinguishing role to his credit, assuming a variety of supporting roles in bigger budget fare, while also continuing as a mainstay in British television. He had the misfortune of appearing in several notorious duds, including The Year of the Comet (1992) and Robert Townsend's widely detested B.A.P.S. (1997), in which he and Martin Landau jockeyed for the dubious honor of seeming more out of place. However, Richardson was credited with helping establish the haunting atmosphere of Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) as Mr. Book, one of the eerie cloaked figures who floats through the landscape. Richardson then appeared as Mr. Torte in 102 Dalmations (2000) and Sir Charles Warren in From Hell (2001).Richardson died of unspecified causes, at age 72, on February 9, 2007.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Hogfather
  • Voice of Death
2007
57% Becoming Jane
  • Judge Langlois
$18.7M 2007
No Score Yet Désaccord parfait (Twice Upon a Time)
  • Actor
2006
74% Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
  • Bishop
$1M 2006
No Score Yet Nero
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Greyfriars Bobby
  • Judge
2005
No Score Yet Cheers & Tears - The Booze Cruise
  • Actor
2003
57% From Hell
  • Police Insp. Sir Charles Warren
$30.7M 2001
31% 102 Dalmatians
  • Mr. Torte
$65.5M 2000
No Score Yet Catherine the Great
  • Vorontzov
2000
No Score Yet Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Gormenghast
  • Lord Groan
2000
13% The King and I
  • The Kralahome
1999
No Score Yet A Knight in Camelot
  • Merlin
1998
No Score Yet Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • Wasp
1998
No Score Yet La Mujer de Blanco
  • Mr. Fairlie
1998
33% Incognito
  • Turley
1998
74% Dark City
  • Mr. Book
1998
13% B.A.P.S.
  • Manley
1997
No Score Yet The Treasure Seekers
  • Haig
1996
No Score Yet House Of Cards Trilogy Iii: The Final Cut
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet A Change of Place
  • Henri
1994
No Score Yet To Play the King
  • Francis Urquhart
1994
No Score Yet Words upon the Window Pane
  • Dr. Trench
1994
No Score Yet Dirty Weekend
  • Nimrod
1993
42% M. Butterfly
  • Ambassador Toulon
1993
No Score Yet Foreign Affairs
  • Edwin
1993
No Score Yet Barbara Taylor Bradford's 'Remember'
  • Philip Rawlings
1993
0% Year of the Comet
  • Harwood
1992
No Score Yet An Ungentlemanly Act
  • Actor
1992
64% Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • Polonius
1991
No Score Yet Monsignor Quixote
  • Bishop of Motopo
1991
No Score Yet King of the Wind
  • Bey of Tunis
1990
No Score Yet The Phantom of the Opera
  • Cholet
1990
No Score Yet The Plot to Kill Hitler
  • Ludwig Beck
1990
No Score Yet Gravy Train
  • Michael Spearpoint
1990
No Score Yet Burning Secret
  • The Father
1988
No Score Yet Whoops Apocalypse
  • Rear-Admiral Benish
1988
81% Cry Freedom
  • State Prosecutor
1987
71% The Fourth Protocol
  • Sir Nigel Irvine
1987
No Score Yet Porterhouse Blue
  • Sir Godber Evans
1987
No Score Yet Blunt
  • Anthony Blunt
1986
98% Brazil
  • Warrenn
1985
No Score Yet Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy
  • Nehru
1985
No Score Yet Mistral's Daughter
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Six Centuries of Verse
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Mistral's Daughters
  • Adrien Avigdor
1984
No Score Yet Number 10
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Sign of Four
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Gauguin the Savage
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Ike: The War Years
  • Actor
1978
50% Man of La Mancha
  • Padre
1973
No Score Yet A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Oberon
1968
100% Marat/Sade
  • Jean-Paul Marat
1966
No Score Yet The Devil's Disciple
  • Actor
1959

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Guest
  • Tom
  • 2007
  • 2001
No Score Yet Miss Marple
2004-2013
  • Actor
  • 2005

Quotes from Ian Richardson's Characters