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Addison Richards

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Addison Richards
Richards in the trailer for Nick Carter, Master Detective, 1939
Addison Whitaker Richards, Jr.

(1902-10-20)October 20, 1902
DiedMarch 22, 1964(1964-03-22) (aged 61)
Resting placeOak Park Cemetery in Claremont, California
Occupation(s)Film and television actor
Years active1933–1964
Vivian Eccles
(m. 1930; died 1946)
Patricia Sarazln
(m. 1952)

Addison Whittaker Richards, Jr. (October 20, 1902 – March 22, 1964) was an American actor of film and television. Richards appeared in more than 300 films between 1933 and his death in 1964.

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A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Richards was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Addison Richards. His grandfather was a mayor of Zanesville. Following his father's death, the family moved to California.[1] Richards graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Washington State College.[2]

Stage and screen

In 1931 Addison Richards joined the Pasadena Playhouse as actor and associate director. He entered motion pictures in 1933. Warner Bros. signed him to a nonexclusive five-year contract in 1934, and he appeared steadily in that studio's feature films. His dignified, businesslike demeanor established him as a character actor, and he almost always played professional men of authority: doctors, attorneys, judges, executives, military officers, legislators, prison wardens, etc. Richards became such a fixture at Warners that he can often be seen in the studio's annual blooper reels of the late 1930s (Breakdowns of 1937, etc.).

While working at Warners he accepted roles offered by other studios: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, and RKO Radio Pictures. Later he also worked at Republic Pictures and Monogram Pictures. Today's audiences may recognize him from the James Cagney feature G Men; the Andy Hardy series (as neighbor Polly Benedict's father); the Mae West-W. C. Fields collaboration My Little Chickadee; the Charlie Chan mysteries Charlie Chan in Panama and The Shanghai Cobra; the western Badlands of Dakota, in which he played George Armstrong Custer; the Laurel and Hardy feature A-Haunting We Will Go; the Charlie Chaplin production Monsieur Verdoux; and the Bowery Boys comedy High Society.

In 1956, Richards appeared as Doc Jennings in The Fastest Gun Alive starring Glenn Ford, and as the marshal in The Broken Star.


Like many veteran screen actors, Richards began working in television, eventually becoming so busy that he slowed his motion-picture work to only one or two features a year. He was cast in many television series, including the syndicated 1950s crime drama, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield. He appeared in six episodes in different roles on the NBC anthology series, The Loretta Young Show (1955-61). Richards played the role of Evanson in the 1957 episode "Venus of Park Avenue" on the CBS crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. He appeared in different roles in two episodes of the CBS crime drama Checkmate (1961), and appeared in the "Mi's Citizenship" episode of the NBC family drama National Velvet (1962).[3]

Richards often appeared in the then-popular genre of TV westerns. In 1957, in the first of three appearances on Dale Robertson's NBC western series, Tales of Wells Fargo, Richards played Governor Lew Wallace in the episode titled, "Billy the Kid". He was cast as Warden Johnson in the episode "Dead Reckoning" on the ABC/Warner Brothers series Colt .45 (1958). Richards was cast as Doc Jay Calhoun in seven episodes of the CBS series Trackdown (1958-59).[4] Richards appeared in the 1959 series The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun, and in two episodes of Cimarron City. In 1960 and 1961, he appeared as Doc Landy in eight episodes of the Deputy, with Henry Fonda and Allen Case.[3] In 1961 was in The Tall Man[3] and Rawhide.

Richards was also seen in situation comedies. He appeared in the recurring role of J.B. Barker in nine episodes of Jackie Cooper's NBC sitcom The People's Choice (1957-58).[3] When NBC adapted its Fibber McGee and Molly radio property for a 1959 TV series, Addison Richards was cast as Fibber's foil Doc Gamble. He appeared in a 1960 episode of Dennis the Menace, starring Jay North, and in two episodes of The Real McCoys. Richards appeared on four CBS sitcoms of 1963-64: Pete and Gladys, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis starring Dwayne Hickman, Petticoat Junction, and twice on The Beverly Hillbillies with Buddy Ebsen. His last television role was as Colonel Saunders in the 1964 episode "The Permanent Recruit" of ABC's No Time for Sergeants, loosely based on the Andy Griffith film of the same name.

Return to the stage

For the summer of 1962, Richards joined the summer stock cast at Denver's Elitch Theatre and appeared in shows including Auntie Mame and The Best Man.[5]

Personal life

Richards met Vivian Eccles in late 1929, marrying a year later and later had one child, daughter Ann.[6]

Richards died of a heart attack. His interment is at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont, California. A news story in the March 26, 1964 issue of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that services were held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.[7]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Author of "Since You Went Away" and Two Members of Cast Formerly of This Locality". Sunday Times Signal. Ohio, Zanesville. October 1, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved June 24, 2016 – via Open access icon
  2. ^ Terry Ramsaye (ed.), International Motion Picture Almanac, Quigley Publications, 1946, p. 324.
  3. ^ a b c d "Addison Richards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 104
  5. ^ R, Greg. "1913". Historic Elitch Theatre. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  6. ^ "Former Ogden Actor Has Top Role". The Deseret News. Utah, Salt Lake City. April 6, 1943. p. 11. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Rites Held For Character Actor Addison Richards". Santa Cruz Sentinel. California, Santa Cruz. March 26, 1964. p. 8. Retrieved June 24, 2016 – via Open access icon

External links

This page was last edited on 12 June 2024, at 06:11
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