Sunday, December 06, 2009

RIP Richard Todd

I'd sort of sworn off obits, but the British actor, an Oscar nominee for 1949's The Hasty Heart, has an unusual distinction on his resume. A hero parachutist of the Normandy landings, Todd co-starred in two films about D-Day, D-Day: The Sixth of June and The Longest Day, where he was portrayed by other actors. His best-known role was in another WWII-related film, 1955's The Dam Busters, an influence on Star Wars. Other credits included a stint as Robin Hood for Disney in the 50s, Hitchcock's Stage Fright ( 1950) and King Vidor's noir Lightning Strikes Twice (1951), Raleigh to Bette Davis's Queen Elizabeth I in 1956's The Virgin Queen, Never Let Go (1960) opposite a villainous Peter Sellers, and a memorable turn as a calculating professor-turned-guru in 1967's conservatively counter-cultural The Love-Ins.

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