Richardson, Sir Ralph, 1902–83, English stage and film actor. Since his first professional stage appearance in The Merchant of Venice (1921), Richardson has played a variety of classic and modern roles. His work with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and with the Old Vic gave him wide Shakespearean experience. His New York stage appearances have included King Henry IV (parts I and II), Uncle Vanya, Oedipus Rex, The School for Scandal, and Home. Possessed of great humor and known for his numerous eccentricities, he was often cast in films as a frosty, sometimes cruel martinet. Among his many films are The Fallen Idol (1948), Richard III (1956), Long Day's Journey into Night (1962), The Wrong Box (1966), David Copperfield (1969), and Graystoke (1984).