Richard Bebb (12 January 1927 – 12 April 2006) was an English actor of stage, screen and radio.
Born Richard Bebb Williams in London, he changed his name to his mother's surname, Bebb, when he took up acting as there was already a British actor called Richard Williams. Bebb's father Herbert Edward Williams was a physician whose practice was run from part of St Mary's Lodge, the family's impressive home in Stoke Newington. Bebb was educated at Highgate School in North London, and attended Trinity College, Cambridge from 1944–47.
In 1952, he married actress Gwen Watford (1927–94), who predeceased him.
Bebb was a prolific performer in theatre, television and radio, probably most famously as "Second Voice" in the original 1954 BBC Radio broadcast of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, opposite Richard Burton's "First Voice". He also appeared in several films, such as Pope Joan (1972) and King Ralph (1991).
- The Final Test (1953) (as Frank Weller)
- The Yellow Teddy Bears (1963)
- Pope Joan (1972) (as Lord of Manor)
Music interest and record collection
Bebb was an avid collector of 78 rpm gramophone records. He was a committee member of the British Institute of Recorded Sound, a forerunner to the British Library Sound Archive, and oversaw the launch of Historic Masters, a vinyl record label dedicated to issuing rare 78 rpm recordings of historic opera singers. His personal collection included recordings of singers and opera performances in England, as well as the Henry Irving cylinder recordings which he rediscovered. He did not favour discs based on established values and reputation, but judged singers on their musical merit. Though he was considered to be very outspoken and judgmental on musical matters, he was generous in sharing his knowledge, and often highlighted the talents of singers that were otherwise overlooked.
His favourite opera was Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea. Among singers and performances he had high regard for Dino Borgioli's Do not go, my love, Frida Leider's version of Eboli's aria in Don Carlos, and Magda Olivero's Sola, perduta, abbandonata.
- Bade, Patrick (February 2007). "Richard Bebb in memoriam". CD. Malibran Music. Retrieved 2008-11-21.