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Actor Richard Johnson dies aged 87

Richard Johnson has died aged 87. Photo: Sukie-Parnell
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Richard Johnson, a member of the inaugural Royal Shakespeare Company, has died at the age of 87.

His death on June 6 after a short illness in London’s Royal Marsden Hospital was confirmed by his family.

A RADA graduate, Johnson enjoyed a long career on stage, taking many lead roles with the RSC, National Theatre, the Peter Hall Company and in the West End.

He amassed more than 130 television and film credits over a career spanning seven decades. Signed to MGM in the 1950s, he appeared in the Hollywood blockbusters Never So Few, with Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida, and Khartoum, alongside Laurence Olivier and Charlton Heston. More recently, he was seen in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

He co-founded United British Artists in 1981, producing the Harold Pinter-scripted Turtle Diary and an adaptation of Brian Moore’s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne on film, and The Biko Inquest at the Riverside Studios in 1984.

Johnson was also a council member of BAFTA and RADA.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.