June 20, 1923|
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England
|Died||March 5, 2010
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
|Other names||Richard Wyler|
Stapley was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, in 1923. A writer, Stapley published his first novel when he was just 17 years old. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.
Following the end of War War II, Stapley began appearing in theater roles in London. He soon signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), making his film debut in a supporting role in the 1948 film, The Three Musketeers. He next appeared in the 1949 remake, Little Women, in which he played John Brooke, the love interest of Janet Leigh's character, Meg.
He continued to appear in a string of Hollywood films at different studios during the 1940s and 1950s, including the 1951 period drama The Strange Door, which co-starred Boris Karlof and Charles Laughton; 1953's King of the Khyber Rifles, which starred Tyrone Power; Charge of the Lancers with Paulette Goddard; and The Iron Glove with Robert Stack in 1954. In 1955 Stapley starred in Target Zero as a British UN tank commander serving in the Korean War.
Stapley returned to the United Kingdom and Europe in 1960, where he adopted the stage name, Richard Wyler. His British television credits from that era included the crime series, Man From Interpol. He also appeared in a series of European-made adventure and western films using the name, Richard Wyler, including The Barbarians, The Rattler Kid, The Bounty Killer, Dick Smart, and The Girl From Rio, which co-starred Shirley Eaton and George Sanders. During the early part of the decade, he wrote a weekly column for Motor Cycling magazine.
During the 1970s, Stapley returned to film roles under his birthname, Richard Stapley. He co-starred in the 1970 film, Connecting Rooms, in a supporting role to stars Michael Redgrave and Bette Davis. He was also cast in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy.
When his acting roles became fewer he became a radio announcer in Britain and also raced motorcycles. In the early sixties he wrote a regular column for Motor Cycling magazine, Richard Wyler's Coffee Bar Column and in the seventies worked part-time as a motor cycle courier.
Stapley became a naturalized U.S. citizen during his later life. He focused on writing following his acting career. He published a novel entitled, Naked Legacy, in 2004. Stapley also completed a second novel and corresponding adapted screenplay, both called Tomorrow Will Be Cancelled. He was working on an autobiography at the time of his death in 2010.
- King of the Khyber Rifles (1953)
- D-Day the Sixth of June (1956)
- Identity Unknown (1960)
- Revak the Rebel (1960)
- "Richard Stapley, 86, was actor, writer". Variety Magazine. March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
- "Actor Richard Stapley dies at 86". Globe Gazette (Mason City, IA). Associated Press. March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
- "Dick Wyler's Coffee-Bar Column". Motor Cycling (London: Temple Press Limited). 104-105.
- Wilkins, Julian (June 2, 2010). "Richard Stapley: Film and television actor who starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor in 'Little Women'". The Independent (London).