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Richard Bradford (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Bradford
Richard Edwin Bradford Jr.

(1934-11-10)November 10, 1934
Tyler, Texas, U.S.
DiedMarch 22, 2016(2016-03-22) (aged 81)
Other namesDick Bradford
Years active1963–2005
Eileen Elliott
(m. 1965; div. 1984)
Partner(s)Millie Perkins

Richard Edwin Bradford Jr. (November 10, 1934 – March 22, 2016) was an American actor. He is best known for his leading role in the television series Man in a Suitcase (1967–1968) and supporting role in the film The Untouchables (1987).

Early life

Bradford was born in Tyler, Texas, the son of Rose and Richard Edwin Bradford. His stepfather was a wholesale grocer.[1] Raised by his grandparents in Conroe, Bradford received his schooling in San Antonio, before attending Texas A&M on a football scholarship.

When an injury short-circuited Bradford's budding athletic career, and a subsequent switch to baseball at Texas State University was stymied due to insufficient semester hours, Bradford finally decided to seriously pursue a long-contemplated career in acting. To this end he made his way to New York.


Supporting himself by waiting tables, Bradford studied acting,[2] first with Frank Corsaro,[3] and finally, in 1962, was admitted to the Actors Studio, where he studied for two years,[2] leading to roles in Studio productions such as Mother Courage (1963), June Havoc's Marathon '33 (1963), and Blues for Mister Charlie (1964). Also, he understudied Rod Steiger in the touring production of A.E. Hotchner's Hemingway-based A Short, Happy Life (1961),[3] an ostensibly Broadway-bound show which folded out of town.[4]

Eventually, Bradford's work caught the eye of another Actors Studio member, director Arthur Penn, who cast Bradford in The Chase (1966),[2] where he held his own alongside Janice Rule, Martha Hyer and a host of Studio veterans, including Marlon and Jocelyn Brando, E.G. Marshall, and Clifton James, as well as newcomers Jane Fonda and Robert Redford and future member Robert Duvall. This work, in turn, attracted the attention of media impresario Lew Grade, who would bring Bradford to Great Britain in 1967 for Man in a Suitcase.[5]

In addition to his numerous TV appearances, Bradford has been featured in many films, such as The Missouri Breaks (1976), An Enemy of the People (1978), Badge of the Assassin (1985), The Trip to Bountiful (1985), The Untouchables (1987) and The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), but arguably his best known film role is the corrupt police captain in the 1997 film Hoodlum featuring Laurence Fishburne, Andy García, and Tim Roth. Bradford also appeared in the 1989 film Heart of Dixie, and had notable turns in Costa-Gavras' Missing (1982), the Kurt Russell thriller The Mean Season (1985) and was also in The Crossing Guard (1995) with Jack Nicholson.

In the 1960s, he appeared in one episode of the television series Gunsmoke and guest starred in an episode of the western series The High Chaparral. In the 1970s, he played Lutie Bascomb in one episode of The Waltons. He guest starred in an episode of Murder, She Wrote in the 1980s. He also guest starred on NBC's TV series Viper. In 1987 he starred in the miniseries Amerika. In the mid 1980s, he was also a semi-regular cast member of the television police series Cagney & Lacey.

Personal life

Bradford was married to ballet dancer Eileen Elliott from 1965 to 1984. He was subsequently in a long-time relationship with actress Millie Perkins. He had a son, Richard Bradford III.[6]

He died on March 22, 2016 at the age of 81 in Los Angeles, California.


In 1986, The Smiths used a photograph of Bradford on the cover of their single "Panic".

In 2004, Bradford gave a series of interviews and commentaries for a DVD release of Man in a Suitcase, expressing mild surprise at the ongoing popularity of the series today.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ Richard Bradford Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. ^ a b c "The TV Key Mailbag: Richard Bradford Once Head Waiter". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 10, 1968.
  3. ^ a b Witbeck, Charles: "Yank Is Hit In British Spy Series; 'Unknown' No Longer". The Toledo Blade. May 21, 1968.
  4. ^ Scheuer, Steven H.: "TV Key Mailbag". The Meriden Journal. February 20, 1962.
  5. ^ "Richard Bradford Biography". Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  6. ^ "Richard Bradford Obituary". Retrieved April 26, 2020.

Played the original Dr. Joe Gannon in the Pilot TV movie of the Medical Center TV series, Operation Heartbeat (1969) aka:UMC,University Medical Center

External links

This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 18:20
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