Richard Todd OBE

11 June 1919 - 3 December 2009

GL Johnson & Richard Todd

George "Johnny" Johnson and Richard Todd with the ATC
at the 2008 meeting of the Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust in Howden

Richard Todd was one of the last great British character actors, having been in acting for most of his life. Born in Dublin, he spent some of his childhood in India (his father was an Army doctor). He trained at Sandhurst for a military career, then decided to go into acting, first performing professionally in 1936. He was one of the founding members of the Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1939.

The day after war was declared, he joined up, being commissioned into the Army in 1941. As a Captain, he took part in the D-Day landings, being part of the group that took and held Pegasus Bridge near Caen.

After the war, Todd returned to acting, quickly developing a film career, initially with Associated Pictures. His most famous role was as Guy Gibson in "The Dam Busters" (1955). He played Major John Howard, his own commanding officer, in "The Longest Day" (1962), another actor playing Todd himself. He continued to act in theatre and in TV roles well into the 1990s and was awarded the OBE in 1993.

Always associated in the public consciousness with "The Dam Busters", he regularly attended events associated with the raid, most recently the 65th anniversary gathering at the Derwent Dam and the 2008 meeting of the Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust in Howden, where he spoke about his experiences making the film; also present on that occasion was George "Johnny" Johnson who, as Joe McCarthy's Bomb Aimer on the Dams Raid, dropped an Upkeep on the Sorpe Dam.