MCM: Richard Todd


This Irish-born actor made a name for himself in Hollywood playing Brits, both contemporary and historical, but he preferred to work in the U.K. In the ’50s, Richard Todd had a string of frock flick hits first with Disney then with major movies depicting both English and French history. He was Ian Flemming’s first choice to portray James Bond on film, but scheduling conflicts prevented this. Todd kept acting until late in his life, including small roles in historical costume TV such as Sherlock Holmes (1992) and The Royal (2003), which I unfortunately can’t find pix from. Still, we can enjoy his earlier work!



Robin Hood in The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)

Richard Todd, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)

Not the best Robin Hood, but this Disney flick got kids excited.



Charles Brandon in The Sword and the Rose (1953)

Richard Todd, The Sword and the Rose (1953)

One of the few — the only? — movies about Mary Tudor & Charles Brandon’s romantic story.

Richard Todd, The Sword and the Rose (1953)

Henry VIII & his wives get all the screentime, but these two deserve more. And while the hair is very 1950s, I don’t hate the costumes.

Richard Todd, The Sword and the Rose (1953)

A Disney production, but a little something for the adults too.



Rob Roy MacGregor in Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue (1953)

Richard Todd, Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue (1953)

Ahh yes, the pleather, the matchy & bright tartans, the dyed-red hair! All your Scots cliches wrapped up in one. I can hear Brenna screaming in the background.

Richard Todd, Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue (1953)

But again, Disney gives some skin for the pervs watching with their kids!



Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1953)

Richard Todd, Wuthering Heights (1953)

A rare ad for this TV movie adaption of the novel.

Edgar Linton (in the middle) gets something approximating period garb, whilst Cathy & Heathcliff are “rustic.”



Sir Walter Raleigh in The Virgin Queen (1955)

Richard Todd in The Virgin Queen (1955)

A stalwart Raleigh for Bette Davis’ QEI.

Richard Todd, The Virgin Queen (1955)



Comte Axel von Fersen in Shadow of the Guillotine (1956)

Richard Todd, Shadow of the Guillotine (1956), photo via Getty Images

Photo via Getty Images.

Richard Todd, Shadow of the Guillotine (1956)

A romanticized but sympathetic take on Fersen & the Queen’s relationship.

Richard Todd, Shadow of the Guillotine (1956)

With Michèle Morgan playing Marie-Antoinette.



Lt. Col. John Wynter in D-Day the Sixth of June (1956)

Richard Todd, D-Day the Sixth of June (1956)

One of many WWII-period movies. I’m only including the highlights because all the guys in uniform look alike to me. Sorry.



Dunois, Bastard of Orleans, in Saint Joan (1957)

Richard Todd, Saint Joan (1957)

With Jean Seberg playing Joan of Arc.



Maj. John Howard in The Longest Day (1962)

Richard Todd, The Longest Day (1962)

Todd was a WWII veteran & one of the first members of the Parachute Regiment to jump on D-Day — tho’ he played a higher ranking officer in this film reenactment.



Captain Charles Bulman in Boy Dominic (1974)

Richard Todd, Boy Dominic (1974). Photo via Almay.

Photo via Almay. Todd reprised this role in the TV movie sequel Dominic (1976).



What’s your favorite frock flick role by Richard Todd?

11 Responses

  1. Northcountry gal

    I always have a soft spot for Richard Todd – I also like him in The Hasty Heart (good role for Ronald Reagan too!) and The Dam Busters. For costume roles, I’d pick The Sword and the Rose.

  2. Kaite Fink

    Such a handsome Raleigh and Fersen. I’ve only seen Sword, and that was sooooo very long ago.

  3. Aleko

    That’s surprisingly good kit he was given as Raleigh. Not much detail, so for all I can tell the fabrics and fastenings may be terrible: but the general silhouette, the angle of the shoulder-wings and the way the ruff frames his chin, have flair and conviction.

  4. NuitsdeYoung

    His first wife was my paternal grandmother’s cousin. They met as young actors in Dundee Rep just after WW2. My aunts were thrilled to bits when they came over to visit the family in Rothesay when filming ‘Rob Roy’ (and possibly ‘Robin Hood’) in Argyll.

  5. Michael McQuown

    Loved the Robin Hood. BTW, the pic in the D-Day section is printed backwards; the regimental badge is supposed to be worn over the left eye.

    • MoHub

      I actually own the DVD of Todd’s Robin Hood. Not bad at all, and both Patrick Barr (King RIchard) and Archie Duncan later appeared in the Richard Greene series. In fact Barr was playing Richard again, while Duncan became a great Little John.

  6. India

    The Dam Busters! You missed out The Dam Busters. OK – it’s yet another war movie with still more men in uniform and half way interesting pics pics are likely hard to come by but it’s possibly the role he’s most famous for in the UK. Mind you that may well have had a lot to do with the fantastic theme music.

    • MoHub

      Music by Eric Coates, one of my favorite English composers. His Shakespeare settings are amazing.

  7. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh, this guy was a total dish. Gotta add some of these films to my queue now.