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Ralph Richardson - Russell Harty (6 - Keats' Ode to Autumn)

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Uploaded on Dec 9, 2009

(Part 6 of 6)

Legendary British stage and film actor Sir Ralph Richardson discusses his thoughts on growing old and recites John Keats' famous poem, Ode to Autumn ("Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness") on the London Weekend Television show with Russell Harty from September 26, 1975.

Richardson made a series of recordings of the poetry of Keats and William Blake, as well as audio recordings of great plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac and Julius Caesar. He was most renowned, however, for his stage portrayals of the works of Shakespeare (Falstaff in Henry IV, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream), Ibsen (Peer Gynt, John Gabriel Borkman), Chekhov (Uncle Vanya), Shaw (Arms and the Man), and his friend J.B. Priestley (An Inspector Calls, Johnson over Jordan, Cornelius). He also made numerous films, such as The Ghoul with Boris Karloff, The Heiress with Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift, Long Day's Journey into Night with Katharine Hepburn, Anna Karenina with Vivien Leigh, and Richard III with his close friend Laurence Olivier.

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Theater critic Kenneth Tynan's diary entry about his interview with Richardson (p. 332):

"[Richardson said at the beginning of the interview,] 'I don't know what we're going to talk about. After all, where did we come from? Did you ever have visions of the place you came from before you were born? I did, when I was three years old, and I used to draw pictures of it. It looked like Mexico.' The man is a poet: who else would start a conversation like that?"

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