Tuesday 11 June 2024

Richard Todd

 With memories of the D-Day eightieth anniversary – and in particular of The Unheard Tapes – still fresh, it is fitting to mark the birthday of the actor and war hero Richard Todd (born on this day in 1919). The square-jawed heart-throb Todd, having survived being blown out of a second-floor room at Sandhurst by an enemy bomb (and narrowly missed being blown up again in the Café de Paris bombing), had a very good war, serving in the 7th Parachute Battalion that played a key role in the D-Day operation. He and his company, having landed in Normandy, sped on to Pegasus Bridge, where they met up with Major John Howard and set about defending the bridgehead against German counterattacks. They were three months fighting in Normandy, and later returned as reinforcements in the Battle of the Bulge. After VE Day, Todd was sent to Palestine, where, having survived so much, he was seriously injured, breaking both shoulders, when his Jeep overturned. 
  Todd was in a demand as a film actor by the late Forties, and in the course of his career he starred in two D-Day epics – D-Day: The Sixth of June (1956), and The Longest Day (1962), in which he played Major John Howard, while another actor, Patrick Jordan, played young Lieutenant Todd. You can read more about Richard Todd's war, including his own vivid account of his D-Day experiences, here. 


  1. In the film The Longest Day, there is a moment when an actor playing Richard Todd runs up to Major John Howard played by Richard Todd and delivers a message . How weird is that? You can see the clip on Tik Tom of all places