Le comédien écossais Ian Richardson est décédé le 9 février à 72 ans. Il fut, tour à tour, Sherlock Holmes puis le professeur Joseph Bell (celui qui servit de modèle à Conan Doyle pour son détective) dans plusieurs productions télévisées.
Le comédien s'est éteint pendant son sommeil alors qu'on ne lui connaissait aucun problème de santé pouvant laisser craindre pour son existence.Il devait tourner un épisode de la série télé Midsomer Murders cette semaine.
Récemment, on l'avait vu à l'affiche du film d'Antoine de Caunes Désaccord parfait
, et du film de Christian Carion Joyeux Noël
Pour les holmésiens, il restera un excellent Sherlock Holmes dans deux adaptations télé du Chien des Baskerville
et du Signe des quatre
en 1983. Mais il marquera sans doute encore plus l'univers de Sir Arthur Conan Doyle grâce à son interprétation du professeur Joseph Bell dans l'excellente série Murder rooms
(cinq épisodes en 2000/2001).
La Société Sherlock Holmes de France
, après un rendez-vous manqué en 2001, pendant notre pèlerinage à Dartmoor, espérait le rencontrer lors de notre prochaine expédition en Angleterre, prévue pour 2009...
Ian Richardson étudie la comédie à la Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama de Glasgow, en Ecosse. Cette grande figure du théâtre britannique se distingue la plupart du temps dans des pièces de William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Beaucoup de bruit pour rien,...) et devient l'un des chefs de file de la prestigieuse Royal Shakespeare Company.
Parallèlement à une très riche carrière sur les planches, Ian Richardson travaille régulièrement pour la télévision et plus épisodiquement pour le grand écran. Au cinéma, il effectue ses débuts en 1966 dans Marat-Sade de Peter Brook, puis s'illustre dans des productions prestigieuses telles que L'Homme de la Manche d'Arthur Hiller, Brazil de Terry Gilliam ou Cry Freedom de Richard Attenborough. En 1987, il est l'affiche du Le Quatrième protocole de John Mackenzie et s'affiche en 1993 dans le long métrage M. Butterfly, sous la direction de David Cronenberg.
En 1998, Ian Richardson aborde l'univers nouveau de la science-fiction avec Dark City d'Alex Proyas dans lequel il côtoie Rufus Sewell et William Hurt. Deux ans plus tard, il change radicalement de registre en jouant dans la production Disney 102 dalmatiens, donnant la réplique à Glenn Close et Gérard Depardieu. En 2001, Ian Richardson s'illustre dans From hell de Allen Hughes et Albert Hughes, qui s'intéresse au personnage de Jack l'Eventreur avec Johnny Depp en vedette.Quelques extrtaits de la presse anglo-saxonne :The Scotsman du 10 février -
Scots-born actor Ian Richardson's death came as a shock as he had not been ill and was looking to start filming his next role in ITV show Midsomer Murders next week.
Actor Ian Richardson dies in his sleep
THE Scots-born actor Ian Richardson, remembered particularly for his universally hailed portrayal of the devious Francis Urquhart in the political thriller House of Cards, has died suddenly at the age of 72.
His agent, Jean Diamond, confirmed that the stage and TV veteran had died in his sleep at his Victorian family home in south London early yesterday.
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A female relative said his widow, Maroussia, wanted to be left to grieve in private with close friends and family.
"It was very sudden. He died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning," Ms Diamond said.
His death came as a shock as he had not been ill and was looking to start filming his next role in ITV show Midsomer Murders next week.
"He did his make-up and wig sittings only yesterday and was due to start filming at the end of next week," Ms Diamond said.
"House of Cards was just so much his own," Ms Diamond said, reflecting on Richardson's role as the epitome of elegant evil in the BBC parliamentary trilogy.
Born in Edinburgh in 1934 and educated at George Heriot's School in the city he studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
He subsequently appeared on the British stage, mostly with the Royal Shakespeare Company, of which he was a founder member.
He first gained nationwide fame in the TV spy drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy based on the John le Carré espionage classic.
He also worked in American theatre, appearing in Peter Brook's Marat/Sade on Broadway in the Sixties and receiving a Tony nomination for his part as Professor Henry Higgins in a revival of My Fair Lady.
In 1981 he performed on Broadway in the original production of Edward Albee's theatre adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.
He was also familiar to American television viewers as the man in the Rolls-Royce who asks "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" in commercials for Grey Poupon Dijon mustard.
Among his most memorable TV performances were the roles of Sir Godber Evans in Porterhouse Blue and as Lord Groan in Gormenghast.
Richardson won the BAFTA Best Television Actor Award for House of Cards, and was nominated for the two sequels To Play the King and The Final Cut as well as for the 1992 film An Ungentlemanly Act.
Famous for his sonorous voice and stern demeanour, Richardson was made a CBE in 1989.
Other TV roles included Sherlock Holmes and more recently he was in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House as well as the voice of Death in Sky One's Hogfather.
His many film roles included Terry Gilliam's Brazil and the Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane, due for release next month.
But it is for the devious Urquhart - a character he based on Richard III in the BBC political drama House of Cards - that he remains best known.
The Tory politician's famous line - "You may very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment" - has passed into Westminster parlance.
Speaking in 2005, Richardson said: "I'm grateful for the part as it put me on the map. The only trouble is getting rid of it. So many people seem to think that I am like him."
However, before House of Cards, Richardson was renowned as one of the great Shakespearean actors of his day, bearing comparison with Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson, a generation earlier.
Author Michael Dobbs, who wrote the novel on which House of Cards was based, described Richardson as "a superb actor" who was "very careful not to let the fame get in the way of his personal integrity."
Richardson is survived by his wife and two sons.The Telegraph du 10 février -
The actor Ian Richardson, best remembered for television role as the Machiavellian chief whip Francis Urquhart in the BBC series House of Cards, died suddenly today at the age of 72. Ian Richardson's death was unexpected
He died in his sleep at his home at Richmond, Surrey. He had not been ill and his death was a shock, his agent said.
The actor was due to start filming an episode of ITV’s Midsomer Murders next week.
Richardson, who started as a Shakesperian actor and went on to star in numerous films and other TV dramas, was concerned about being typecast as the scheming Urquhart, which won him a BAFTA award.
He said two years ago: "I’m grateful for the part as it put me on the map. The only trouble is getting rid of it. So many people seem to think that I am like him."
Paul Seed, who directed House of Cards, today called Richardson "the most sophisticated craftsman comic actor in this country".
"I cast him in House of Cards because of his comic talent and he was utterly brilliant. His passing is the end of a generation of that kind of actor."
Michael Dobbs, co-author of House of Cards and its sequels, the To Play the King and The Final Cut, described him as "a superb actor" who was "very careful not to let the fame get in the way of his personal integrity".
Richardson appeared in the BBC’s recent adaptation of Bleak House. Other television roles included Sherlock Holmes, Lord Groan in Gormenghast, Sir Godber Evans in Porterhouse Blue and the 'Tailor’ in John Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The actor’s famous one-liner in House of Cards - "You may very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment" - passed into common parlance at Westminster.