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Ian Richardson Dies
February 11, 2007 7:03 AM   Subscribe

On Friday, Ian Richardson died in his sleep. He was probably best known in the UK for the BBC "House of Cards" trilogy starring as the scheming politician Francis Urquhart with his now infamous "You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment." Busy until his death, he recently featured in the TV series "Midsomer Murders" and played Death in the Sky One adaptation of Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather". Sadly, to many he was just the guy who asked for Grey Poupon mustard.
posted by twine42 (30 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Apologies is this is a duplicate. I can't believe that his death has gone unnoticed by the great MeFi, but I can't see anything on the first two pages of the site...
posted by twine42 at 7:04 AM on February 11, 2007


RIP, Mean Mr. Mustard.
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posted by hal9k at 7:09 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aw, man. He was awesome.

(And he played Death? Yet another damn reason to see that film.)
posted by maudlin at 7:12 AM on February 11, 2007


Not to mention his outstanding Bill Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:19 AM on February 11, 2007



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posted by imperium at 7:28 AM on February 11, 2007


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posted by vhsiv at 7:36 AM on February 11, 2007


hal9k - I'm fine, honestly. And if you met me, you'd find I'm actually quite generous.
posted by MrMustard at 7:41 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


maudlin, he did the voice of Death. The 'actor' was either a mask or CGI.
posted by twine42 at 7:45 AM on February 11, 2007


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House of Cards--which I had not previously seen--was largely responsible for entertaining me while I was home recovering from appendicitis last summer. And his "but I couldn't possibly comment" line has definitely entered my daily lexicon.

What a loss. Such a subtle actor.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:53 AM on February 11, 2007


Not really familiar with most of his work, but he was brilliant as Tulkinghorn in Bleak House.
posted by afx237vi at 7:57 AM on February 11, 2007


Sorry to be pedantic, but it's "You might very well think that..." This wikipedia entry misses the point also-- Urquhart said it as a coded way of answering "yes" when it would be inappropriate for him to do so in so many words; not as a way of avoiding saying yes or no. It was not an ambiguous response. Pardon the derail.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2007


I'm sorry to hear of his passing. He was a terrific actor; "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and the "House of Cards" trilogy are two of the best TV productions I've ever seen, due in large part to Ian Richardson.

Every time I watch PM's questions on C-Span (that's all we get of Parliament in the US) I think of FU. Brilliant.

RIP. One of the greats.
posted by breezeway at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2007


twine42, Death is all about THE VOICE anyway, but thanks for the clarification.
posted by maudlin at 8:37 AM on February 11, 2007


I was surprised and sad to see his obituary. When I read The Lord Of The Rings, it's always him I see as Denethor. Acting-wise, he was The Man.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2007


Brazil
posted by matteo at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2007


. In addition to playing in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Richardson had his own turn at multiple roles (a la Alec Guinness) in the adaptation of Private Schultz.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2007


The Hogfather was great!
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2007


Sadly, to many he was just the guy who asked for Grey Poupon mustard.

You might say that, but I couldn't possibly comment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2007


Even more sad than the mustard connection - the Comment Counter (aka MetaDigg) is indicating that he won't be nearly as missed around here as A.N.S.
posted by matty at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2007


What's Grey Poupon mustard?

I saw him onstage last summer in The Alchemist at the National and he was fantastic as Sir Epicure Mammon, really very funny and wistful rather than blustering.
posted by Mocata at 10:38 AM on February 11, 2007


Oh crap. What a loss.

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posted by trip and a half at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2007


Dammit! I've been using the 'you might say that' bit for some time now but had no idea where it originated.

What a shame!
posted by Space Kitty at 11:00 AM on February 11, 2007


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posted by moss at 11:16 AM on February 11, 2007


Actually, the Wikipedia page does seem to be on the mark: sez the catchphrase was used "when he wanted to agree with a statement made to him but was 'politically unable' to agree or disagree publicly..."
posted by bicyclefish at 11:25 AM on February 11, 2007


And let's not forget Dark City.

Great actor, too bad.
posted by jiawen at 11:26 AM on February 11, 2007


House of Cards was awesome. Never have I admired such a loathsome character in any show.

Sad to hear this, I'm glad he was able to pass in his sleep.
posted by maxwelton at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2007


Nothing lasts forever. Even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end someday. [sly look at the camera]

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posted by Paragon at 1:40 PM on February 11, 2007


Thank you, jiwan. Forgot about that!

[At the final tuning]
Mr. Book: SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN FOREVER!
posted by hal9k at 4:32 PM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


This was really sad news, one of the great underrated actors has left the British stage.

Sometimes Doctor Who author Lance Parkin always wrote character in all of his novels that would be played by Ian Richardson and even wrote an unpublished epilogue to one of the novels in which he actually played The Doctor and here it is:

http://www.unitnews.co.uk/story.php?article_id=7

Doctor Who Magazine once ran a poll, before the new series came out and Richardson came second as the readers favourite choice behind Paul McGann for a film version. His son Miles is a stallwart of the Big Finish audio range.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:56 PM on February 11, 2007


Dark City
Highlander (TV series)
To Play the King
House of Cards
The Final Cut
M. Butterfly
Brazil

Some of my all-time favorites. One of my most-favorite actors. All in all, 99 film & TV titles. An amazing, under-rated, under-recognized, yet extraordinary artists. I will miss him.
posted by davidinmanhattan at 6:03 PM on February 11, 2007


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