Saturday, 30 March 2013

Richard Griffiths - 1947-2013

Richard Griffiths was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1947. His parents were both deaf, and he learned sign language at an early age in order to communicate with them. Griffiths worked in small theatres, sometimes acting and sometimes managing. He built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown with portrayals of the Constable in The Comedy of Errors and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and went on to play the King in Henry VIII.

He got his big break in film in It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet (1975). He played supporting roles in a number of major films, including The French Lieutenant's Woman, Chariots of Fire, and Gandhi


Gandhi (1982)
Griffiths' film roles were in both contemporary and period pieces such as Gorky Park (1983), Withnail and I (1987), King Ralph (1991), The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), Guarding Tess (1994) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). 

Gorky Park (1983)
Later, he was seen as Harry Potter's cruel uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series.

Naked Gun 2½ (1991)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

He appeared as Inspector Henry Crabbe, disillusioned policeman and pie chef extraordinaire, in the British detective drama Pie in the Sky, a role which was created specifically for him. 

He also made an extended appearance in the 2005 version of Charles Dickens' Bleak House

Griffiths died aged 65 after complications following heart surgery.
 

1 comment:

Kathy Smart said...

Richard Griffiths had a commanding presence on the screen.