Richard Pearson (actor)
Photo by Freddie Feest
Richard de Pearsall Pearson
1 August 1918
|Died||2 August 2011 (aged 93)|
Northwood, London, England
|Cause of death||Cerebral haemorrhage|
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Dickson (1949–2011, his death)|
Richard de Pearsall Pearson (1 August 1918 – 2 August 2011), was an English character actor, who appeared in numerous film, television and stage productions over a period of 65 years. He was born and brought up in Monmouth. He was educated at Aymestrey Court, Worcester, and at Monmouth School, where his father taught French.
Notable films of his career included Brian Desmond Hurst's Scrooge (1951) as well as a brief appearance in John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and cameo roles in three films by Roman Polanski: Macbeth (1971), Tess (1979) and Pirates (1986). Pearson made his stage debut at the age of 18 at London's Collins's Music Hall, but he did not make his film début until the age of 32, when he played a sergeant in the motion picture The Girl is Mine (1950). This was followed a year later by his performance as Mr Tupper in Scrooge.
In later years, Pearson is perhaps best known for his role as Mole in Cosgrove Hall's The Wind in the Willows (1983), its subsequent television series, which led on from the original film, and its spin-off programme Oh, Mr. Toad, in all of which he starred alongside David Jason, Peter Sallis and Michael Hordern. He also appeared in episodes of One Foot in the Grave as Victor Meldrew's absent-minded brother, Alfred, and the Men Behaving Badly episode "Three Girlfriends" as Gary's father Mr Strang. He played Mr Pye in the 1985 TV movie Marple: The Moving Finger.
Richard Pearson fought in the Second World War with the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division. He was mentioned in dispatches and left the army with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He married the actress Patricia Dickson (1927–2014) in 1949. They lived until the late 1950s in Nassau Street, in the Fitzrovia district of London, then in Beckenham, and latterly in Richmond upon Thames. Pearson had been suffering from myocardial degeneration and died peacefully on 2 August 2011, the morning after his 93rd birthday, survived by his wife and their two sons, one of whom, Patrick Pearson, is also an actor.
- The Girl Is Mine (1950) – Sergeant
- The Woman with No Name (1950) – Tony
- The Woman in Question (1950) – Detective
- The Clouded Yellow (1950) – Det Sgt Stewart (uncredited)
- Scrooge (1951) – Mr. Tupper
- The Blue Parrot (1953) – Quinney
- Dangerous Cargo (1954) – Noel Butler
- Svengali (1954) – Lambert
- Fabian of the Yard (1954)
- Battle of the V-1 (1958) – Senior RAF Officer (uncredited)
- Sea Fury (1958) – Kershaw
- Model for Murder (1959) – Bullock
- The Crowning Touch (1959) – Roger
- Life in Danger (1959) – Sgt. Norris
- Libel (1959) – The Butler
- Man in the Moon (1960) – Doctor No. 1
- Attempt to Kill (1961) – Frank Weyman
- Guns of Darkness (1962) – Bastian
- The King's Breakfast (1963) – Violinist
- The Comedy Man (1964) – Advertising Man (uncredited)
- The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) – Osborn
- The Caramel Crisis (1966) – Cloon
- Charlie Bubbles (1967) – Accountant
- How I Won the War (1967) – Old Man at Alamein
- Inspector Clouseau (1968) – Shockley
- The Strange Affair (1968) – Constable
- The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970) – Wilting
- Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) – Patient
- To Catch a Spy (1971) – Haldane
- The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971) – Doctor
- Pope Joan (1972) – Friar Timothy
- One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975) – Sir Geoffrey
- Royal Flash (1975) – Duchy Chamberlain
- The Blue Bird (1976) – Bread
- It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet (1976) – Granville
- Tess (1979) – Vicar of Marlott
- God's Wonderful Railway (1980) – Mr. Jellicoe
- The Mirror Crack'd (1980) – Doctor Haydock
- The Wind in the Willows (1983) – Mole (voice)
- Water (1985) – Foreign Secretary
- Pirates (1986) – Padre
- Whoops Apocalypse (1986) – Michael Sumpter (Defence Secretary)
Selected stage appearances
- Both Ends Meet by Arthur Macrae (1954, also in the BBC television adaptation of 1962)
- A Likely Tale by Gerald Savory (1956, with Margaret Rutherford and Robert Morley)
- The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter (1958, creating the role of Stanley, also in the 1960 ITV production)
- The Private Ear and the Public Eye by Peter Shaffer (1962, with Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams)
- Vivat! Vivat Regina! by Robert Bolt (1970, Chichester and London, with Sarah Miles and Eileen Atkins)
- Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw (1981)
- Lettice and Lovage by Peter Shaffer (1987, as Mr Bardolph, with Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack)
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1993, as Dr Chasuble with Maggie Smith as Lady Bracknell)
- Monmouth and Monmouthshire were not definitively incorporated into Wales until 1974. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- Former school: Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- Vahimagi, Tise (1994). British Television. Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-818336-5
- "Richard Pearson – Obituary – The Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Richard Pearson obituary | Stage | The Guardian". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- IMDb Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- IMDb Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Arthur Macrea , , Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Gielgud's Letters ed. Richard Mangan Retrieved 2 August 2014, 20 June 1970.
- Retrieved 2 August 2014.. Peter Shaffer in the introduction to the published edition of the play (London: André Deutsch, 1988): "Initially Miss Smith offers a comic solo of glittering perfection. When she is joined by Margaret Tyzack – a performer to match her royally – this turns into a duet of glittering perfection. And when finally she is joined by Mr Pearson this turns into a trio which creates on the stage of the Globe a compound interest of intoxication."
- Gillespie, M.P. (1996). Oscar Wilde and the Poetics of Ambiguity. University Press of Florida. p. 100. ISBN 9780813014531. Retrieved 26 February 2015.