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Briers, Richard OBE

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The character actor Richard Briers was born on 14 January 1934 at Merton, Surrey, the son of Joseph Briers and his wife Morna (née Richardson). After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he made his London debut in “Gilt and Gingerbread” in 1959. Though over the years he appeared in such plays as “Present Laughter” (1965), “The Real Inspector Hound” (1968), “Butley” (1972) and “Run for Your Wife” (1983), his main reputation has been achieved in films and television, particularly in “The Good Life” (1975-1978). Other series included “The Other One” (1977-79), “Ever Decreasing Circles” (1984-1987, 1989) and “All in Good Faith” (1985-1988). As a member of the Renaissance Theatre Company, Briers played classical roles, including King Lear and Uncle Vanya. There he began his association with Kenneth Branagh, who later cast him in a series of films: Bardolph in “Henry V” (1989), Fry’s Father in “Peter’s Friends” (1992), Don Leonato in “Much Ado about Nothing” (1993) and Polonius in “Hamlet” (1996), being among them. Briers received the OBE in 1989 and became a member of the Garrick Club in 1990. He married Ann Davies in 1957 and has two daughters. Among his books are “A Little Light Weeding” (1993) and “A Taste of the Good Life” (1995).
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