|Men's Freestyle wrestling|
|Representing Great Britain|
|British Empire (and Commonwealth) Games|
Kenneth "Ken" Alan Richmond (10 July 1926 – 3 August 2006) was an English heavyweight wrestler. Richmond was born in London, his father abandoned the family when Richmond was 3. Before he got into freestyle wrestling, he was a whale ship crewman. At 6'5" and 265 lbs, he won a bronze medal at the 1952 Olympics, as well as a bronze medal at the 1950 British Empire Games, and a gold medal at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He stayed fit enough into his later years to win medals for rollerblading and windsurfing in his 60s.
Though he appeared as the wrestler Nikolas in Jules Dassin's film noir, Night and the City (1950), Richmond was perhaps most recognizable as the shirtless gongman banging the enormous gong preceding the opening credits for films produced or distributed by the Rank Organisation. He was the fourth - and last - actor to take the job, as the Rank studio closed in 1980. He was a Jehovah's Witness for most of his life, being jailed as a conscientious objector during World War II. In later life, he was a volunteer minister for his church.
He died at age 80 in his home in Christchurch, England (Richmond’s wife, Valentina, died in 1996). According to the BBC, before he died, he had revealed to friends that the gong seen in the Rank Organisation's opening never rang as it was a papier-mâché stage prop and he never actually struck it with any force, joking "If you hit that gong, you would have gone straight through.”
- London Daily Mirror, 12 August 2006
- BBC Radio 4 Last Word, 18 August 2006
- Hevesi, Dennis (August 14, 2006). "MOVIES: Ken Richmond, 80, Gong-Striker Familiar to Filmgoers, Dies". The New York Times.
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