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Tony Richardson
Born Cecil Antonio Richardson
5 June 1928(1928-06-05)
Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Died 14 November 1991 (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Vanessa Redgrave (1962-1967)

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 attended Ashville College, Harrogate and Wadham College, Oxford.


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[2] 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.

Personal life

He was married to actress Vanessa Redgrave from 1962 to 1967. The couple had two daughters, Natasha Richardson (1963-2009) and Joely Richardson (born 1965), both actresses. He left Redgrave for actress Jeanne Moreau.

Richardson was bisexual, but never acknowledged it publicly until after he contracted AIDS. He died of complications from AIDS in 1991.[3]



  1. ^ Tony Richardson Biography (1928-1991)
  2. ^ John Osborne: A Patriot for Us by John Heilpern, Chatto & Windus, 2006 ISBN 978-0-70116-780-7, pp.346-51. The basic issue was Osborne's unwillingness to go through the rewrite process, more arduous in film than it is in the theatre.
  3. ^ Heilpern, p.142

External links

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