Richard Gibbon Hurndall (November 3, 1910 – April 13, 1984) was an English stage, radio, film, and television actor.
Hurndall was born in Darlington. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he appeared in several plays at Stratford-upon-Avon. Hurndall acted with the BBC radio drama repertory company from 1949 to 1952.
In 1958 he became the third host of the Radio Luxembourg program called This I Believe. (This show had originally been hosted by Edward R. Murrow on the U.S. CBS Radio Network from 1951 to 1955 and it was then edited in London for rebroadcast on 208 with a British style of presentation at 9:30 PM on Sunday evenings.)
Hurndall appeared in numerous radio and stage plays, films and television series over the course of his lengthy career, including The Avengers, The Persuaders!, Whodunnit!, and Bergerac. He played the suave London gangster Mackelson in the 1968 drama series Spindoe, had a recurring role as a senior civil servant in the final series of The Power Game and did a camp turn as a gay antique dealer who takes a shine to Harold Steptoe in the comedy Steptoe and Son. In the early 1970s he was a priest in Public Eye
In 1983, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, producer John Nathan-Turner planned a special event, The Five Doctors, a 90-minute episode to feature the five actors who had at that point played the role of the Doctor.
William Hartnell, the actor who originated the role, had died in 1975. The show's unofficial fan consultant, Ian Levine, had seen Hurndall in Blake's 7, another BBC science fiction series, and suggested him to the producers as a possible replacement. Hurndall eventually won the role of the recast First Doctor, playing him as acerbic and temperamental but in some ways wiser than his successors. When the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, decided not to appear in the programme, Hurndall's role was beefed up slightly to have the First Doctor take a greater part in the action.
Richard Hurndall died at the age of 73 in London, less than five months after the first broadcast of The Five Doctors.