Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor who, along with his contemporaries John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He worked in films throughout most of his career, and played more than sixty cinema roles. From an artistic but not theatrical background, Richardson had no thought of a stage career until a production of Hamlet in Brighton inspired him to become an actor. He received nominations and awards in the UK, Europe and the US for his stage and screen work from 1948 until his death, and beyond, with a posthumous Academy Award nomination for his final film, Greystoke.Throughout his career, and increasingly in later years, Richardson was known for his eccentric behaviour on and off stage. He was often seen as detached from conventional ways of looking at the world, and his acting was regularly described as poetic or magical.