Tony Richardson

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Cecil Antonio "Tony" Richardson (5 June 1928 – 14 November 1991) was an English theatre and film director and producer.


Early life

Richardson was born in Shipley, Yorkshire in 1928, the son of Elsie Evans (Campion) and Clarence Albert Richardson, a chemist.[1] He was Head Boy at Ashville College, Harrogate and attended Wadham College, Oxford.


In 1955, in his directing début,[2] Richardson produced Jean Giraudoux's The Apollo of Bellac for Television with Denholm Elliott and Natasha Parry in the main roles.[3]

Representative of the British "New Wave" of directors, he developed the ideas that led to the formation of the English Stage Company, along with his close friend George Goetschius and George Devine. He directed John Osborne's seminal play Look Back in Anger at the Court, writing both the theatre and playwright into British theatrical history. In the same period he directed Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon.

In 1959, Richardson co-founded Woodfall Films with John Osborne, and, as Woodfall's debut, directed the film version of Look Back in Anger despite having no track record in making feature films (he had, however, been a pioneer in Britain's Free Cinema movement; co-directing the non-fiction short Momma Don't Allow with Karel Reisz in 1955). Richardson and Osborne eventually fell out[4] during production of the film Charge of the Light Brigade.

In 1964 Richardson received two Academy Awards (Best Director and Best Picture) for Tom Jones (1963). Richardson later began work on Mahogany (1975), starring Diana Ross, but was fired by Motown head Berry Gordy shortly after production began. Gordy took over direction himself.

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