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Richard David Briers (1934 -- 2013)


Richard David Briers was born 17 February 1934 in Surrey, England.  His career spanned over 50 years, making him a household name across film, radio, television and the stage before his death on 17 February 2013. 

Son of Joseph Benjamin and Morna Phyllis, Briers left school at the age of 16 and worked as he attended night school to qualify as an electrical engineer.  At the age of 18 he joined the RAF to complete his two years national service.  Following his army discharge, Briers enrolled at RADA making his West End stage debut in 1959.  Following roles in several TV hits, it was Briers’ portrayal of Tom Good in the hugely popular BBC series The Good Life (1975-1978) and Martin Bryce in Ever Decreasing Circles (1984-1989) that saw him become a firm favourite with TV audiences.  He went on to appear in successful shows such as Lovejoy, Inspector Morse, Midsummer Murders and Monarch of the Glen.  A great admirer of Shakespeare, Briers starred in several big screen adaptation of the Bard’s works including Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), Love Labour’s Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2006).  It was through his work on these adaptations that Briers formed his long lasting working relationship with British Director Sir Kenneth Branagh.  Briers voiced many animations with his distinctive tones including the 1978 sentimental animation Watership Down, but it was the actor’s comic timing and love of British cinema that led him to star in various British comedies including A Chorus Of Disapproval (1989), Peter’s Friends (1992), In The Bleak Mid Winter (1995) and Spice World (1997).  More recently Briers starred in British feature comedy horror Cockneys vs Zombies (2012) and enjoyed a cameo role in Run For Your Wife (2012), a farce based on the long running stage play.  Briers was honoured with an OBE for Services to the Arts in 1989 and CBE in 2003. 

Following the death of his comic actor cousin Terry Thomas from Parkinson’s disease in 1971, Briers became President of Parkinson’s UK and lent his support to various UK based charities.

Richard Briers leaves his wife of 56 years and his two daughters.