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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 15:48 GMT
Life in pictures: Ian Richardson

Ian Richardson in The Devil's Disciple

Actor Ian Richardson - seen here as General Burgoyne in a 1987 TV production of Bernard Shaw's The Devil's Disciple - has died suddenly at the age of 72.

Ian Richardson with Caroline Hunt in All's Well That Ends Well

A founder member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, his many stage roles include Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well - a classic production filmed by the BBC in 1968.

Ian Richardson in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

A long and successful career in television followed, his performance as double agent Bill Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy proving particularly memorable.

Ian Richardson with Susannah Harker in House of Cards

However, it is his defining role as devious chief whip Francis Urquhart in the BBC's 1990 political thriller House of Cards for which he is best remembered.

Ian Richardson with Michael Kitchen in To Play the King

The Urquhart character proved so popular with audiences that Richardson reprised his role in 1993's To Play the King, and again two years later in The Final Cut.

Ian Richardson in Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

Having twice played Sherlock Holmes in the 1980s, Richardson was ideally cast as Dr Joseph Bell, his supposed inspiration, in 2000 series Murder Rooms.

Ian Richardson in Gormenghast

Richardson's imposing presence was also put to good use in the BBC's adaptation of fantasy novel Gormenghast, in which he played Lord Groan.

Ian Richardson in Bleak House

Another BBC literary adaptation, this time of Charles Dickens' Bleak House, saw him don a judge's wig to play the small but telling role of the Chancellor.

Ian Richardson in Strange

Ian Richardson's saturnine features often saw him cast in villainous roles such as Canon Black in the supernatural TV series Strange.

Ian Richardson (r) with Gordon Brown

In person, though, he was quite different from his on-screen persona - as a 2006 appearance on Sunday AM alongside Chancellor and fellow Scot Gordon Brown proved.

A tribute to Ian Richardson's acting career

House of Cards' Richardson dies
09 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Ian Richardson
09 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Ian Richardson: Your memories
09 Feb 07 |  Have Your Say
Richardson's rule in House of Cards
09 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Actor receives university honour
28 Jun 06 |  Tayside and Central

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