We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Ian Richardson

Ian Richardson


4/7/1934, Edinburgh, Scotland



Birth Name

Ian William Richardson


out of 10
User Rating
11 votes


Ian Richardson was born to John and Margaret in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1934. Ian's father, John worked for McVitie and Price, a biscuit company, and in Edinburgh in the 1930s, John was loading biscuits on to a horse and cart. John was a strict Scottish Presbyterian with very…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ian is said to have based Francis Urquhart on Shakespeare's Richard III, a part he had played for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

    • Ian appeared in the U.S. in an advertisement for Dijon Mustard.

    • Ian won a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for his role of Francis Urquhart in House of Cards. It was for Best Acting Performance.

    • At the BAFTA awards (11 February 2007), two days after Ian Richardson passed away, Helen Mirren dedicated her win (for "The Queen") to him.

    • Ian won the BAFTA for Best Actor for House of Cards in 1991. He was nominated for both the follow-ups, To Play the King and The Final Cut, but did not win.

    • One of Richardson's most popular roles was that of a man viewers loved to hate: the sinister-minded 'chief whip' Francis Urquhart in the BBC series House of Cards. The role and series earned critical acclaim and high ratings, as the Urquhart character schemed to block the every move of his idealistic political opponents.

  • Quotes

    • (on his career and life).
      Ian Richardson: I've had a superb career and I was very lucky to do all those big Shakespearean roles in my twenties. What really matters to me now is not my CBE nor my acting awards but my family and my beautiful estate in Devon.

    • (on his wife Maroussia).
      Ian Richardson: She has been singularly responsible not only for my career decisions but practically for the person I am over these forty-three years we have been together, because I was very rough and raw material when we first met.

    • (on comparing Theatre and TV work).
      Ian Richardson: The theatre has been my first and only love and it was purely by chance that I drifted into TV and film. I wasn't complaining because the financial returns were much higher than they ever could be in the theatre.

    • (on playing Francis Urqhart).
      Ian Richardson: Francis Urquart has been the best opportunity for my reputation. The only trouble is getting rid of it. So many people seem to think that I am like him.

    • (on playing Canon Black in "Strange").
      Ian Richarson: I think possibly his sense of humour. A rather nice thing is that the burden of the work is on the shoulders of the younger people. Richard Coyle and Samantha Janus really have to carry the whole series through on their shoulders. I just pop in every now and again with some very funny lines and a lot of sardonic wit to go with it - and go quietly home again. That for me at my age is a great joy.