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He was born Cyril Trimnell-Ritchard in Surry Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, son of Sydney-born parents, Herbert Trimnell Ritchard, a Protestant grocer, and his wife Marguerite, a devout Roman Catholic who ensured her son was raised and educated (by the Jesuits at St Aloysius' College) as a Catholic. In consequence, he became an equally devout Roman Catholic who attended Sunday Mass wherever he happened to be.
Early in his career, Ritchard played in numerous musical comedies, including Yes, Uncle! and Going Up, both in 1918 and both with Madge Elliott (later his wife). Read Full Bio >>
He achieved star status in 1954 as Captain Hook in the Broadway production of Peter Pan co-starring Mary Martin, who shared the same birthday (1 December). For his work in the show, Ritchard received a Tony Award.
He also appeared onstage in The Happiest Girl in the World, Sugar, The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (with Anthony Newley), Roar Like a Dove, and The Irregular Verb to Love.
His film appearances include a villainous role in Alfred Hitchcock's early talkie Blackmail (1929) and much later in the Tommy Steele vehicle Half a Sixpence (1967).
Ritchard also appeared regularly on a variety of television programs in the 1960s. For example, he did a stint as one of the What's My Line? Mystery Guests on the popular Sunday Night CBS-TV program. Later, Ritchard also served as a guest panelist on that quiz show, where he was, perhaps comically, referred to as 'Sir Cyril'. However, Cyril Ritchard was never knighted.
A memorable television out-take features Ritchard saying 'Goodnight' to an audience, before spinning a ball on a roulette wheel. Ritchard watches as the ball rattles around the wheel, seemingly interminably, before it finally bounces off the wheel, hits the spindle and flies off-screen .
Shortly before he died, Ritchard performed as voice of Elrond in the Rankin/Bass television production of The Hobbit. He suffered a heart attack on November 25, 1977, at the age of 80, while appearing as the narrator in the Chicago touring company of Side by Side by Sondheim. He died a month later in Chicago and was buried in Ridgefield Conn. where he had long resided in his rural home. His funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Fulten Sheen. He survived his wife, Madge, and a baby boy who died in infancy. << Less Bio
|1956||Primetime Emmy Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||"Producers' Showcase" (1954).||Nominated|