Sunday October 21, 2018

richard wilson, obe

actor and director










Richard Wilson OBE was born, Iain Wilson, in Greenock Renfrewshire on 9 July 1936. He contemplated farming and the Merchant Navy before training as a laboratory technician at a Glasgow hospital, but upon starting amateur dramatics, he was soon bitten by the acting bug and applied to RADA. Richard has had a long career both as an actor and a director with many great roles to his name, today he is one of television's most familiar faces. Richard has won many awards including the British Comedy Awards Top Television Comedy Actor Award and two BAFTAs. In 1994 he was awarded an OBE for his services to drama, as director and actor.

His long and distinguished career as both actor and director in theatre, film and TV includes (as actor) Merlin, Demons, New Tricks, Whipping it Up (Bush Theatre/West End), Waiting for Godot (Royal Exchange) and What the Butler Saw (Royal National Theatre). Other roles include Mr Darling/Captain Hook in Peter Pan at The Royal Festival Hall, Uncle Vanya in Uncle Vanya and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, both at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. As director his recent work includes Rainbow Kiss, The Woman Before (both Royal Court) and Primo (Royal National Theatre, South Africa, Hampstead, Broadway and then for television on BBC/HBO).

Richard is probably best known as grumpy Victor Meldrew from One Foot In The Grave. Richard played the irascible Mr Meldrew over six seasons - and numerous specials. His character's saying, "I don't believe it!" became a catchphrase across Britain, so much so, that Richard will now only perform it for charity. Early in his career he played Rev Martin Hooper in My Good Woman with Leslie Crowther and Sylvia Sims. A few years later he appeared in A Sharp Intake of Breath. This was followed by the part of Dr Gordon Thorpe in the massively popular 70's sitcom Only When I Laugh with James Bolam and Peter Bowles. He also appeared in a two-part Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper where he played Doctor Constantine. Richard also played Dr Donald Newman in the cosy 1950s medical drama Born and Bred and most recently starred as the royal physician Gaius in BBC1's Merlin where he stars alongside Anthony Head.

Other roles have included Richard Lipton in newspaper satire Hot Metal, and Eddie Clockerty in rock 'n' roll comedy Tutti Frutti alongside Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson. He also played Foreign Secretary Nigel Lipman in Whoops Apocalypse, and appeared in The Trouble With Mr Bean with Rowan Atkinson. Amongst the many dramas Richard has appeared in are Selling Hitler, In The Red, The Lord of Misrule, andthe films, A Passage to India, The Man Who Knew Too Little and A Dry White Season (with Marlon Brando). Richard also appeared in the TV comedy-drama Jeffrey Archer, The Truth, in which he played Prince Philip

Richard is also a highly experienced director, with a long list of theatre and TV credits to his name. Amongst the many awards he has won are the TMA Best Director Award 2000 for Mr Kolpert and the John Whiting Award, for Imagine Drowning at the Hampstead Theatre.

Most recently, Richard played the role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, directed by Gregory Doran. This new production of Shakespeare's comedy will transfer to the Duke of York's Theatre on St Martin's Lane, where it will run from 19 December 2009 to 27 February 2010.

He is the author of I don't believe it: Richard Wilson's Book of Absurdities - as the name suggests, a light-hearted read consisting of humorous and amazing facts.
Richard is a keen supporter of the Labour Party and lives in North West London.

The Richard Wilson Archive website