16 July, 2008

Neville Chamberlain


Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1937 to 1940.

Chamberlain's legacy is marked by his appeasement policy regarding his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding part of Czechoslovakia to German dictator Adolf Hitler. In the same year he also gave up the Irish Free State Royal Navy ports.

After working in business and local government and a short spell as Director of National Service in 1916 and 1917, Chamberlain followed his father and older half-brother in becoming a Member of Parliament in the 1918 general election at age 49. He declined a junior ministerial position, remaining a backbencher until he was appointed Postmaster General after the 1922 general election. He was rapidly promoted in 1923 to Minister of Health and then Chancellor of the Exchequer but presented no budget before the government fell in 1924.

He returned as Minister of Health, introducing a range of reform measures from 1924 to 1929. He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in the coalition National Government in 1931 and spent six years reducing the war debt and the tax burden. When Stanley Baldwin retired after the abdication of Edward VIII and the coronation of George VI, Chamberlain took his place as Prime Minister in 1937.

Chamberlain was forced to resign the premiership on 10 May 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill but remained very well regarded in Parliament. Before ill health forced him to resign, he was an important member of Churchill's war cabinet. He had a key role in the formation of the Special Operations Executive. Chamberlain died of bowel cancer on 9 November at the age of 71just six months after leaving office.

Stanley Baldwin

Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, was a British statesman and three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

He was born at Lower Park House, Lower Park, Bewdley in Worcestershire, England. Baldwin was educated at St Michael's School, Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. His university career was blighted by the presence, as Master of Trinity, of a former schoolmaster who had punished him at Harrow for writing a piece of schoolboy smut. He was asked to resign from the Magpie & Stump (the Trinity College Debating Society) for never speaking, and after receiving a third-class degree in history went into the family business. As a young man he served very briefly as a Second Lieutenant in the Artillery Volunteers.

He proved to be very adept at the family business of iron manufacturing, and acquired a reputation as a modernising industrialist. Later he inherited £200,000 and a directorship of the Great Western Railway upon the death of his father Alfred Baldwin in 1908.

In the 1906 general election he contested Kidderminster but lost amidst the Conservative landslide defeat after the party split on the issue of free trade. In 1908 he succeeded his father as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bewdley. During the First World War he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Conservative leader Andrew Bonar Law and in 1917 he was appointed to the junior ministerial post of Financial Secretary to the Treasury where he sought to encourage voluntary donations by the rich in order the repay the United Kingdom's war debt, notably writing to The Times under the pseudonym 'FST'. He personally donated one fifth of his quite small fortune. He served jointly with Sir Hardman Lever, who had been appointed in 1916, but after 1919 Baldwin carried out the duties largely alone. He was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1920 Birthday Honours. In 1921 he was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade.

In late 1922 dissatisfaction was steadily growing within the Conservative Party over its coalition with the Liberal David Lloyd George. At a meeting of Conservative MPs at the Carlton Club in October Baldwin announced that he would no longer support the coalition and famously condemned Lloyd George for being a "dynamic force" that was bringing destruction across politics. The meeting chose to leave the coalition, against the wishes of most of the party leadership. As a result Bonar Law, the new Conservative leader, was forced to search for new ministers for his Cabinet and so promoted Baldwin to the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the November 1922 general election the Conservatives were returned with a majority in their own right.

The King turned to Baldwin to become Prime Minister. Initially Baldwin was also Chancellor of the Exchequer whilst he sought to recruit the former Liberal Chancellor Reginald McKenna to join the government. When this failed he appointed Neville Chamberlain.

The Conservatives now had a clear majority in the House of Commons and could govern for five years before holding a general election, but Baldwin felt bound by Bonar Law's pledge at the previous election that there would be no introduction of tariffs without a further election. With the country facing growing unemployment in the wake of free-trade imports driving down prices and profits, Baldwin decided to call an early general election in December 1923 to seek a mandate to introduce protectionist tariffs and thus drive down unemployment. Protection was not universally popular in the Conservative Party: "one must speak of the election being fought by a divided party." The election outcome was inconclusive: the Conservatives had 258 MPs, Labour 191 and the reunited Liberals 159. Whilst the Conservatives retained a plurality in the House of Commons, they had been clearly defeated on the central election issue of tariffs. Baldwin remained Prime Minister until the opening session of the new Parliament in January 1924, at which time the government was defeated in a motion of confidence vote. He resigned immediately.

Baldwin successfully held onto the party leadership despite calls for his resignation by some in the party. For the next ten months, an unstable minority Labour government under Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald held office. On 13 March the Labour government was defeated for the first time in the Commons, although the Conservatives decided to vote with Labour later that day against the Liberals. The general election held in October 1924 brought a landslide majority of 223 for the Conservative party, primarily at the expense of the now terminally declining Liberals. Baldwin campaigned on the "impracticability" of socialism, the Campbell Case, the Zinoviev Letter and the Russian Treaties. In a speech during the campaign Baldwin said:

It makes my blood boil to read of the way which Mr. Zinoviev is speaking of the Prime Minister today. Though one time there went up a cry, "Hands off Russia", I think it's time somebody said to Russia, "Hands off England".

Baldwin's new Cabinet now included many former political associates of Lloyd George: former Coalition Conservatives Austen Chamberlain (as Foreign Secretary), Lord Birkenhead (Secretary for India) and Arthur Balfour (Lord President after 1925), and the former Liberal Winston Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer. This period included the General Strike of 1926, a crisis that the government managed to weather, despite the havoc it caused throughout the UK. Baldwin created the Organization for the Maintenance of Supplies, a volunteer body of those opposed to the strike which was intended to complete essential work.

In 1929 Labour returned to office, the largest party in the House of Commons despite obtaining fewer votes than the Conservatives. In opposition, Baldwin was almost ousted as party leader by the press barons Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook, whom he accused of enjoying "power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages".

By 1931 Baldwin and the Conservatives entered into a coalition with Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. This decision led to MacDonald's expulsion from his own party, and Baldwin, as Lord President of the Council became de facto Prime Minister deputizing for the increasingly senile MacDonald, until he once again officially became Prime Minister in 1935. His government then secured with great difficulty the passage of the landmark Government of India Act 1935, in the teeth of opposition from Winston Churchill, whose views enjoyed much support among rank-and-file Conservatives.

Baldwin did not advocate total disarmament but believed that "great armaments lead inevitably to war". However he came to believe that, as he put it on 9 November, 1932: "the time has now come to an end when Great Britain can proceed with unilateral disarmament".

With the second part of the Disarmament Conference starting in January 1933, Baldwin attempted to see through his hope of air disarmament. On 6 October Baldwin, in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, pleaded for a Disarmament Convention.

On 14 October Germany left the League of Nations. The Cabinet decided on 23 October that Britain should still attempt to cooperate with other states, including Germany, in international disarmament. In late 1933 and early 1934 he rejected an invitation from Hitler to meet him, believing that visits to foreign capitals were the job of Foreign Secretaries. On 8 March 1934 Baldwin defended the creation of four new squadrons for the Royal Air Force against Labour criticisms.

On 29 March 1934 Germany published its defense estimates' which showed a total increase of one-third and an increase of 250% in its air force.

With MacDonald's physical powers failing him, he and Baldwin changed places in June 1935; Baldwin was now Prime Minister, MacDonald Lord President of the Council. In October that year Baldwin called a general election. Neville Chamberlain advised Baldwin to appeal to the country on a defense program against Labour, and to make it the leading issue in the election because to announce a rearmament program after the election would be more damaging due to it being perceived as deceiving the people. However Baldwin did not make rearmament the central issue in the election. He said he would support the League of Nations, modernize Britain's defenses and remedy deficiencies but also said: "I give you my word that there will be no great armaments". The main issues in the election were housing, unemployment and the special areas of economic depression. The election gave 430 seats to National government supporters (386 of these Conservative) and 154 seats to Labour.

On 31 July 1934 the Cabinet approved a report that called for expansion of the Royal Air Force to the 1923 standard by creating 40 new squadrons over the following five years. In April 1935 the Air Secretary reported that although Britain's strength in the air would be ahead of Germany for at least three years, air rearmament needed to be increased so the Cabinet agreed to the creation of an extra 39 squadrons for home defense by 1937. However, on 8 May 1935 the Cabinet heard that it was estimated that the RAF was inferior to the Luftwaffe by 370 aircraft and that in order to reach parity the RAF must have 3,800 aircraft by April 1937—an extra 1,400 on the existing air program. It was learnt that Germany was easily able to out build this revised program as well. On 21 May 1935 the Cabinet agreed to expanding the home defense force of the RAF to 1,512 aircraft (840 bombers and 420 fighters).

On 25 February 1936 the Cabinet approved a report calling for expansion of the Royal Navy and the re-equipment of the British Army, along with the creation of "shadow factories" built by public money and managed by industrial companies. These factories came into operation in 1937. In February 1937 the Chiefs of Staff reported that by May 1937 the Luftwaffe would have 800 bombers compared to the RAF's 48.[39]

On 28 November 1934 Churchill moved an amendment to the vote of thanks for the King's Speech, which read: "...the strength of our national defenses, and especially our air defenses, is no longer adequate".

The Labour Party strongly opposed the rearmament program. Clement Attlee said on 21 December 1933: "For our part, we are unalterably opposed to anything in the nature of rearmament".

He faced the abdication crisis of King Edward VIII. With the abdication successfully weathered he retired after the coronation of King George VI and was created Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.

Baldwin's years in retirement were quiet. In June 1945 Baldwin's wife Lucy died. Baldwin himself by now suffered with arthritis and needed a stick to walk. When he made his final public appearance in London in October 1947 at the unveiling of a statue of King George V a crowd of people recognized and cheered him, but by this time he was deaf and asked: "Are they booing me?" Having been made Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1930, he continued in this capacity until his death in his sleep at Astley Hall, near Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, on 14 December 1947. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes buried in Worcester Cathedral.


Ken Saro - Wiwa


Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian author, television producer, and environmentalist. He was the son of Chief Jim Wiwa. Saro-Wiwa was a member of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority whose homelands in the Niger Delta have been targeted for oil extraction since the 1950s. Initially as spokesperson, and then as President, of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental damage associated with the operations of multinational oil companies, especially Shell.

He was executed by the Nigerian Military in 1995, his death provoking international outrage.

Ken was born in Bori, in the Niger Delta. He spent childhood in a polygamous household of Anglican faith and eventually proved himself an excellent student, netting him a scholarship to study English at Government College Umuahia. He would complete his studies at the University of Ibadan and briefly became a teaching assistant at the University of Lagos.

However, he soon took up a government post as the Civilian Administrator for the port city of Bonny in the Niger Delta and was a strong supporter of the federal cause against the Biafrans during the Nigerian Civil War. His best known novel, Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English, tells the story of a naive village boy recruited to the army during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970 and intimates the corruption and patronage in Nigeria's military regime of the time. His war diaries, On a Darkling Plain, document Saro-Wiwa's experience during the war. Additionally, Saro-Wiwa was also a successful businessman and television producer. His satirical television series, Basi & Co., is purported to have been the most watched soap opera in Africa.

In the early 1970s Saro-Wiwa served as the Regional Commissioner for Education in the Rivers State Cabinet, but was dismissed in 1973 because of his support for Ogoni autonomy. In the late 1970s, he established a number of successful business ventures in retail and real-estate, and during the 1980s concentrated primarily on his writing, journalism and television production. His intellectual production was interrupted in 1987 when he once again entered the political scene, this time as an appointee of newly-installed dictator Ibrahim Babangida, who enlisted Ken to aid the country's transition to democracy. However, Ken resigned shortly thereafter because he felt Babangida's supposed plans for a return to democracy were disingenuous. Ken's sentiments were proven correct in the coming years as Babangida failed to relinquish power. In 1993 he annulled Nigeria's general elections which would transfer power to a civilian government, sparking mass civil unrest and eventually forcing him to step-down, at least officially, in the same year.

In 1990 Saro-Wiwa began devoting most of his time to human rights and environmental causes, particularly in Ogoniland. He was one of the earliest members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), which advocated for the rights of the Ogoni people. The Ogoni Bill of Rights, written by MOSOP, set out the movement's demands, including increased autonomy for the Ogoni people, a fair share of the proceeds of oil extraction, and remediation of environmental damage to Ogoni lands. In 1992, Saro-Wiwa was imprisoned for several months, without trial, by the Nigerian military government.

In January 1993 MOSOP organized peaceful marches of around 300,000 Ogoni people – more than half of the Ogoni population – through four Ogoni centers, drawing international attention to his people's plight. The same year, Shell ceased operations in the Ogoni region, while the Nigerian government occupied the region militarily.

Saro-Wiwa was arrested again and detained by Nigerian authorities in June 1993, but was released after a month. In May 1994, he was arrested and accused of incitement to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders. Saro-Wiwa denied the charges, but was imprisoned for over a year before being found guilty and sentenced to death by a specially convened tribunal, during which nearly all of the defendants' lawyers resigned in protest to the trial's cynical rigging by the Abacha regime. The resignation of the legal teams left the defendants to their own means against the tribunal, which continued to bring witnesses to testify against Saro-Wiwa and his peers, only for many of these supposed witnesses to later admit they had been bribed by the Nigerian government to support the criminal allegations. The trial was widely criticised by human rights organizations and half a year later, Ken Saro-Wiwa received the Right Livelihood Award for his courage as well as the Goldman Environmental Prize

Very few observers were surprised when the tribunal declared a "guilty" verdict, but most were shocked that the penalty would be death by hanging for all nine defendants. However, many were skeptical that the executions would actually occur, as the Nigerian government would face international outrage and possible sanctions and other legal action should the penalties be carried out.

On 10 November 1995, Saro-Wiwa and eight other MOSOP leaders the "Ogoni Nine" were executed by hanging at the hands of military personnel. According to most accounts, Ken was the last person to be hanged and thus forced to watch the death of his colleagues. Information on the circumstances of Saro-Wiwa's own death are unclear, but it is generally agreed that multiple attempts were required before the hanging finally brought Saro-Wiwa to his end. Ken's death provoked international outrage and the immediate suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations, which was meeting in New Zealand at the time. The United States and other countries considered imposing economic sanctions on Nigeria because of such actions.

James Whitmore


James Allen Whitmore, Jr. is an American two-time Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning film actor.

Whitmore was born in White Plains, New York, the son of Florence Belle and James Allen Whitmore, Sr. He graduated from Amherst High School in Amherst, New York, and subsequently Yale University, where he was a member of Skull and Bones, and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.

Following World War II, Whitmore appeared on Broadway in the role of the Sergeant in Command Decision. MGM hired Whitmore on contract; however his role in the film was played by Van Johnson. Whitmore's first major movie was Battleground that was turned down by Spencer Tracy, for which Whitmore was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other major films included The Asphalt Jungle, The Next Voice You Hear, Above and Beyond, Kiss Me, Kate, Them!, Oklahoma!, Black Like Me, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Give 'em Hell, Harry!, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of former President of the United States Harry S. Truman.

In 1963, Whitmore played Captain William Benteen in The Twilight Zone episode "On Thursday We Leave for Home." In 1967 he guest starred as a security guard in The Invaders episode, Quantity: Unknown. In 1969 Whitmore played the leading character of Professor Woodruff in the TV series My Friend Tony, produced by NBC. He was also a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln Jones, in the TV Series The Law & Mr.Jones during the late 1950s. Whitmore also made several memorable appearances on the classic TV western "The Big Valley" during the late 1960s. Generally portraying a villain, his role was often that of a layered, complicated,and tormented character noted for intensity. Whitmore's natural ability to utilize the period slang terms and late 19th century language of the Old West gave credibility to the performance seldom matched by other actors. His characters dominated the scenes and episodes in which he appeared.

Whitmore also appeared as General Oliver O. Howard in the 1975 TV movie I Will Fight No More Forever, based on the 1877 conflict between the United States and the Nez Percé tribe, led by Chief Joseph. Whitmore's last major role was that of librarian Brooks Hatlen in the critically-acclaimed and Academy award-nominated 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption; who commits suicide in the middle of the film. To a younger generation, he is probably best known, in addition to his role in Shawshank, as the commercial spokesman for Miracle-Gro plant food for many years.

In addition to his film career, Whitmore has done extensive theatre work. He won a Tony Award for "Best Performance by a Newcomer" in the Broadway production of Command Decision (1948). He later won the title "King of the One Man Show" after appearing in the solo vehicles Will Rogers' USA (1970), Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975) and as Theodore Roosevelt in Bully (1977) although the latter production did not repeat the success of the first two.

In 1999, he played Raymond Oz in two episodes of The Practice, earning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In 2002, Whitmore got the role of the Grandfather in the Disney Channel original movie A Ring of Endless Light. Whitmore has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6611 Hollywood Blvd. In April of 2007 he also appeared in C.S.I. in an episode titled "Ending Happy" as Milton, an elderly man who provides a clue of dubious utility.

Whitmore was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2008. He died from the disease at the age of 87 on February 6, 2009, at his Malibu, California home.

Anthony Quayle


Sir John Anthony Quayle was an English actor and director.

He was born in Ainsdale, Southport in Lancashire and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After appearing in music hall, he joined the Old Vic in 1932. During the Second World War he was an Army Officer and made one of the area commanders of the auxiliary units. Later he joined the Special Operations Executive and served as a liaison officer with the partisans in Albania. In 1944 he was the aide to the Governor of Gibraltar at the time of the air crash of General Władysław Sikorski's aircraft on July 4, 1943. He described his experiences in a fictionalized form in Eight Hours from England .

From 1948 to 1956 he directed at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and laid the foundations for the creation of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His own Shakespearian roles included Falstaff, Othello, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and Aaron in Titus Andronicus opposite Sir Laurence Olivier; he played Mosca in Ben Jonson's Volpone; and he also appeared in contemporary plays.

His first film role was a brief unaccredited one as an Italian wigmaker in the 1938 Pygmalion - subsequent film roles included parts in Ice Cold in Alex (1958),Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1969 for his role in Anne of the Thousand Days. Often cast as the decent British officer he drew upon his own wartime experience, bringing a degree of authenticity to the parts notably absent from the performances of some non-combatant stars. One of his best friends was fellow actor Alec Guinness, whom he knew from his days at the Old Vic, and appeared in several films with him.

Quayle made his Broadway debut in The Country Wife in 1936. Thirty-four years later, he won critical acclaim for his starring role in the highly successful Anthony Shaffer play Sleuth, which earned him a Drama Desk Award.

Television appearances include Armchair Theatre-The Scent of Fear (1959) for ITV, the title role in the 1969 ITC drama series Strange Report and as French General Villers in the 1988 miniseries adaptation of The Bourne Identity. Also he narrated the acclaimed aviation documentary series Reaching for the Skies.

Quayle was knighted in 1985 and he died in London from liver cancer in October 1989, aged 76.

Sir Ralph Richardson


Sir Ralph David Richardson was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, also appeared in several classic films.

Richardson made his West End début in 1926. Thereafter he became one of the Old Vic Theatre's major stars, one of his early big roles being Caliban to the Prospero of John Gielgud, a professional association that lasted for four decades. Richardson scored additional Old Vic triumphs as Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra, Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. At Malvern in 1932, he played Face in Ben Jonson's The Alchemist. In 1933 he played the title role in W. Somerset Maugham's final play Sheppey at Wyndham's Theatre, and became an undisputed West End star in The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1936).

After active service in World War II serving as a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Richardson joined Laurence Olivier and the director John Burrell as co-director of the Old Vic Theatre, where his notable roles included Falstaff, Bluntschli in Arms and the Man, Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, and Peer Gynt, in which Olivier took the cameo role of the Button Moulder. Richardson also directed Alec Guinness in Richard II, taking on the role of John of Gaunt in the production when the Old Vic governors insisted that either Richardson or Olivier were contractually obligated to act in all the productions.

After he was dismissed at the Old Vic, Richardson appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon but had mixed results, with his 1952 performance as Macbeth being the greatest failure of his career. He fared better at the Bristol Old Vic in his appearance as Volpone to Anthony Quayle's Mosca in Ben Jonson's Volpone, in the title role of Timon of Athens in his 1952 return to the Old Vic, and on Broadway in his Tony-nominated role in The Waltz of the Toreadors (1957). He made a misstep in turning down the English language premiere of Waiting for Godot, a decision that he regretted for the remainder of his life.

With his friends Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, he appeared in Olivier's film of Richard III (1955) and in several scenes of the mini-series Wagner (1983), which was released shortly after Richardson's death. Sadly he is the least remembered of the trio, as people often quote 'Olivier and Gielgud', but forget Richardson. In 1960 he appeared successfully as Sir Peter Teazle in John Gielgud's production of School for Scandal, as the Father in Six Characters in Search of an Author in London (1963), a return to Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1964) and the original production of Joe Orton's controversial farce What The Butler Saw in the West End at the Queen's Theatre in 1969 with Stanley Baxter, Coral Browne, and Hayward Morse.

In the 1970s he appeared in the West End, and with the National Theatre under Peter Hall's direction, where among the classics he played Firs in The Cherry Orchard and the title role in Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman along with Wendy Hiller and Peggy Ashcroft. He continued his long stage association with John Gielgud, appearing together in two new works, David Storey's Home and Harold Pinter's No Man's Land.

From 1954 – 1955 he played the character of Dr. John Watson in an American/BBC radio co-production of canonical Sherlock Holmes stories, which starred Sir John Gielgud as the famous consulting detective and featured Orson Welles as the villainous Professor Moriarty. In the 1960s he played Lord Emsworth on BBC television in dramatisations of P.G.Wodehouse's Blandings Castle stories, with his real-life wife Meriel Forbes playing his domineering sister Connie, and Stanley Holloway as his butler Beach.

Richardson made several spoken word recordings for the Caedmon Audio label in the 1960s. He re-created his role as Cyrano de Bergerac opposite Anna Massey as Roxane, and played the title role in a complete recording of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (play), with a cast that included Anthony Quayle as Brutus, John Mills as Cassius, and Alan Bates as Marc Antony. He also recorded some English Romantic poetry, such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for the label.

His film appearances included The Citadel, The Heiress (his first nomination for an Academy Award), Richard III, Our Man in Havana (with Alec Guinness and Noel Coward), O Lucky Man!, Oh! What a Lovely War, Dragonslayer, Tales from the Crypt and Time Bandits. He played the sixth Earl of Greystoke in the 1983 movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, for which he was again nominated for an Academy Award. His last film appearance was in Give My Regards to Broad Street starring Paul McCartney.

Richardson recorded the narration for Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, and the superscriptions for Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia Antartica - both with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Prokofiev conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Vaughan Williams by André Previn.

Richardson was knighted by King George VI in 1947. In 1963, he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for Long Day's Journey Into Night. He won the BAFTA Award for Best British Actor for The Sound Barrier (1952), and was nominated on another three occasions. He was also nominated for three Tony Awards for his work on the New York stage, for his performances in The Waltz of the Toreadors, Home, and No Man's Land.

Richardson died of a stroke, aged 80, and was interred at Highgate Cemetery.