Website last updated: 21-3-2024

Actor / Stuntman Terry Richards (1932-2014)

By: Anders Frejdh
Terry Richards James Bond obituary
FSWL are saddened to report that legendary stuntman Terry Richards (with nine official James Bond films on his CV) has passed away at the age of 81. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Stuntman, stunt coordinator, director (and FSWL supporter) Vic Armstrong remembers working with Terry:

"I first met Terry Richards on the set of You Only Live Twice in 1966 when he was an established stuntman and I was just starting out. Terry already had a reputation as one of life's great story tellers and he had the most incredible timing for telling a joke. We worked together right up until as few years ago on many many films and Terry apart from being a great stuntman he was the entertainment meister, I remember on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), after an incredible champagne filled evening, Terry marched everybody back to our hotels in true Guardsman fashion with Terry being an ex Guardsman. We did wake up the whole village of Mürren in Switzerland but none of the villagers seemed to worry, I guess it was such a funny sight at 3 in the morning lit by moonlight bouncing of the snow.

I took Terry to Italy to play a big part in Red Sonja (1985) and Richard Fleischer, who was a very particular director and very demanding of perfection, thought Terry was one of the best actors in the movie. Funnily enough when he got to Italy Terry had a bit of stage fright and worried that his acting was not up to it, so I told him - Terry, I hired you, not an actor, just be Terry Richards - which is what he did and he was brilliant. As they say they broke the mould when he went and I can honestly say there will never be another TR which was as he was always known. He leaves a legacy of films behind him and one which will last forever is his role as the swordsman that gets shot by Indy in the market place in Tunisia."

About Terry Richards:
The tall Terry (6 foot 5) worked with five different Bond actors if you include David Niven in Casino Royale (1967).

He had a truly wonderful and adventurers life but always was very low key and with no ego. Everybody seems to have loved him. He was a great raconteur with wonderful funny stories. Very professional and reliable. Hurt many times but never made a fuss.

During his career in the film business he worked on nine of Eon Productions' James Bond film series and several other big-budget productions, many in which he was never credited (general stunts in A View to a Kill being one of them) although this is normal procedure for many stuntmen.

Terry was one of the men in the gypsy fight scene in From Russia with Love (1963). In Goldfinger (1964) (1964) he doubled for Gert Fröbe as Goldfinger getting sucked out of the jet plane at the end of the film. Along with general battle at the end (you can see him throw a grenade into the entrance of Fort Knox). In You Only Live Twice (1967) he doubled for Ronald Rich as Hans, the big blond guy that gets thrown to the Piranhas! (All the medium and long shots are quite clearly the double. The close ups are the actor. It is very plain to see if you look closely. Terry was slimmer and not as blond with a bald spot.) Terry was also in the big battle inside the volcano featured in YOLT. Evidently, Sean Connery requested him in the fight scene as the actor was rubbish and couldn't throw a punch. (Terry worked with Connery on numerous pictures and got to know him as a struggling young actor before he got famous.)

Terry's son Terry Jr remember his father's work on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): "I was a young boy and he took me on set and watched the big battle in the submarine pen... they were balsa wood! I sat in the Lotus Esprit and met Roger Moore who gave me a pound!"

His last Bond films was The World Is Not Enough (1999) in which he was reunited with Vic Armstrong being the films 2nd unit director and stunt coordinator.

With his work on the Indiana Jones series he became famous after playing an Arab swordsman in the first one, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Terry really enjoyed working with Harrison Ford whom he thought was a very nice chap.

Among the many famed actors he doubled are Tom Selleck, Donald Sutherland, Dave Prowse, Nick Brimble as Little Jon in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood film, and George Kennedy.

Photo above:
Terry Richards (left) during the filming of On Her Majety's Secret Service at Schilthorn - Piz Gloria 1968. © Terry Richards Jr. All rights reserved.

For more information about Terry Richards career, check out his profile on IMDB:



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Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh