Richard Anderson (1926-2017): memories by: GF Willmetts.

Reading this morning that actor Richard Anderson had died at the age of 91 is a reminder of how time is passing for actors from our childhood. Having read his book, ‘Richard Anderson: At Last…A Memoir’ last year, he was typical of old Hollywood of never having a bad word to say about anyone but enjoying he was part of experience and full of little stories of its life.

Looking over his filmography he was in as much in demand there as he was on television. From our genre significance, he was the doomed Chief Quinn in ‘Forbidden Planet’ (1956) and later in ‘The Invaders’ for an episode. His tall demeanour, concentrated stare and voice tended to place him in roles of authority so when he ended up as Oscar Goldman in ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ (1973-1978) and ‘The Bionic Woman’ (1976-1978), he was a perfect fit.

Lest we forget, he was also capable of a wide range of emotions and when allowed to, lit up the screen when he smiled. You would want someone like Oscar Goldman running an organisation such as the OSI, confident that he would do the right thing when needed to. That all came from Richard Anderson. In fact, I suspect when the paper press catches up with the Net tomorrow, he’ll be linked there. Oddly, looking at the range of credits on IMDb, he also avoided being typecast which is a feat in itself.

I shouldn’t be that surprised that he died at such a great age but it still hit me as a big shock this morning. As part of our 1970s television SF series, you expect such people to go on forever. When it doesn’t, it’s a reminder of what we’ve lost.

GF Willmetts

September 2017

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