Richard Murdoch

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Richard Murdoch
Actor Richard Murdoch.jpg
Born Richard Bernard Murdoch
(1907-04-06)6 April 1907
Keston, Kent,
England, UK
Died 9 October 1990(1990-10-09) (aged 83)
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England, UK
Occupation Comedy actor
Years active 1932-1990

Richard Bernard Murdoch (6 April 1907 – 9 October 1990) was a British comedy radio, film and television performer. [1]

Early life[edit]

Richard Bernard Murdoch attended Charterhouse School. He then appeared in Footlights whilst a student at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 1937 he is listed among the cast of the "Television Follies", an early BBC TV programme.[2] Murdoch had his radio break in the BBC comedy programme Band Waggon (1938–40) as part of a double act with Arthur Askey, acquiring the nickname "Stinker" in mocking reference to his superior formal education.[3] He reprised this role in the 1940 film of the same name and after the war appeared in the TV version, Living It Up. During World War II, he served in the RAF.[4]


Murdoch appeared with Kenneth Horne in the BBC Radio comedy series Much Binding in the Marsh from 1944 to 1954.[5] He also appeared in The Men from the Ministry from 1962 to 1977, a radio comedy series about two civil service members, with initially Wilfrid Hyde-White, but more famously Deryck Guyler.[6] [7]

His first film role was as a dancer in Looking on the Bright Side in 1932, a vehicle for Gracie Fields.[8]

He famously composed rather suggestive doggerel about Ella Wheeler Wilcox as lyrics to the opening bars of Alexandre Luigini's Ballet Égyptien.[9]

In the early 1980s, Murdoch provided the English narration for the Polish animated version of The Moomins, from the classic series of books by Tove Jansson.[10]

Murdoch had a regular role as Uncle Tom, the briefless senior barrister of chambers, in Rumpole of the Bailey between 1978 and 1990; this being his last TV role.[8]


He married the actress Peggy Rawlings in 1932, and they had three children, Belinda, Jane and Timothy.[11]

Murdoch died on 9 October 1990, aged 83, with his final appearance broadcast in 1991, a few months after his death. [1]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Richard Murdoch". BFI. 
  2. ^ Radio Times Television Supplement, 9 July 1937
  3. ^ Hugh M. Massingberd, 'The "Daily Telegraph" Book of Obituaries 3: Entertainers', pp. 148-9. ISBN 0-330-36775-7
  5. ^ Foster, Andy and Furst, Steve (1996). Radio Comedy 1938-1968. Virgin Publishing. pp 82-85. ISBN 0-86369-960-X
  6. ^ Foster, Andy and Furst, Steve (1996). Radio Comedy 1938-1968. Virgin Publishing. pp 240-247. ISBN 0-86369-960-X
  7. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - The Men From the Ministry, Fair Exchange". BBC. 
  8. ^ a b c "Richard Murdoch". IMDb. 
  9. ^ Chris Hughes. "Richard Murdoch's 'Ballet Egyptien' parody". 
  10. ^ "The Moomins". BFI. 
  11. ^ British Pathé. "Richard Murdoch". 
  • Walker, John (1999). Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies. (13th ed.) HarperCollins. p. 297. ISBN 0-00-255905-6

External links[edit]