Bond stuntman Terry Richards dies

It has just been announced that former James Bond stuntman Terry Richards passed away earlier this month at the age of 81. Richards had a long career as a stuntman in the Bond films and many others, working on From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.

David Terence “Terry” Richards (2 November 1932–14 June 2014) was a British actor and stuntman, best known for his appearance as the Arabian swordsman in the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

During his career, Richards worked on over 100 productions across film and television; worked in nine James Bond films; fought as a stuntman in scenes with Indiana Jones, James Bond, Luke Skywalker and Rambo; and doubled for Donald Sutherland, Tom Selleck and Christopher Lee.

Born in South London to Welsh parents, he served in the Welsh Guards. After finishing his national service, in 1957 whilst working as a scaffolder, a friend from the Guards told him they needed extras with military training.

After gaining the job, he was asked if he could fall off scaffolding during a riot scene, which he accepted. In 1958 he served as a fighting extra alongside Kirk Douglas in The Vikings, and in 1960 was a co-founder of The Stunt Register, a UK industry list of accredited stunt performers.

Richards most famous scene was as the scripted “large Arabian swordsman” in the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Director Steven Spielberg shot the productions Cairo, Egypt-located fight scenes in the town of Kairouan, Tunisia. Richards had practised for weeks with his heavy Arabian sword to create the scripted fight scene, choreographing a fight between the swordsman and Jones’s whip.

However, after filming the initial shots of the scene and with Ford suffering from dysentery, after lunch Ford and Spielberg agreed to cut the scene down to a gun shot. It was later voted in at No.5 on Playboy magazine’s list of best all time scenes, and also created a Lego character of the large Arabian.

Richards retired after his last performance in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, where his character beat-up Pierce Brosnan in a recording studio in Germany. Richards lived his later life in sheltered accommodation in Ruislip. His funeral service and burial took place on 24 June 2014 at Breakspear Crematorium.

Source: Wikipedia

Modified under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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