Last Sunday, February 17, 2013, we lost someone who, in my opinion, was one the greatest British actors: Richard Briers. I know that he may not be someone who is known to everyone, but if you look him up, he started out on stage, and had gone on to do many movies and TV shows.
Richard David Briers was born January 14, 1934, in Merton, Surrey, England; he was 79 years old at the time of his death.
I’m most familiar with his work because of the Shakespeare movies that he starred in. Briers joined Kenneth Branagh’s acting company early on, and after that went on to star in many of Branagh’s Shakespeare films.
In Henry V, Briers played Lieutenant Bardolph (1989), in Much Ado About Nothing he portrayed Don Leonato (1993), he was Polonius in Hamlet (1996), Sir Nathaniel in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), and Adam in As You Like It (2006). I own each of these, by the way, and even though I’ve seen each of them countless times, over the last few days I have watched all of them again. I guess it was my own little way of remembering him.
However, Briers did more than just Shakespeare. He was also known for his role as Tom Good in the British television series Good Neighbors which ran from 1975-1978, as well as many other TV series and movies. He was the voice of the Narrator in the 1974 animated series Roobarb, and later did the voices of the Narrator, Roobarb, and Custard in the animated series, Roobarb & Custard Too in 2005. He played the Grandfather in 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstien, and Smee in 2003’s Peter Pan.
His latest movie was 2012’s Cockneys vs. Zombies. I haven’t seen this yet, but I’ve heard that it’s really funny, so I guess I’ll check it out.
It was a great loss, and I’ll miss seeing him in any upcoming movies.
RIP Mr. Briers.