David Merrill Richards, actor, bon vivant and treasured friend died June 11, 2009 in Burbank, California of cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment for leukemia. He was looking forward to celebrating his 63rd birthday the next day.
David was born on June 12, 1946 in Denver and graduated from Arvada High School in Arvada, Colorado in 1964. His zest for life and travel took him around the world as a professional guide and enthusiastic tourist. He had no favorite place, they were all "fabulous"!
David was a bright star in the Colorado theatre world. He performed at the Country Dinner Playhouse from 1979-95 and at many other area theaters.
In the mid 90s, David's career took him to Los Angeles, where he played fashion agent Sid Garber on "The Young and Restless" for three years. He also played the hillbilly narrator on the E! Network's "The Simple Life." David appeared in four Perry Mason movies with Raymond Burr and in several episodes of the Father Dowling Mysteries with Tom Bosley. His episodic television work included appearances on "Seinfeld", "The Young Riders", "Enterprise", "The Parkers", "Secret Santa", "ER", "TheCrossing" and "Party of Five".
While working and living in Los Angeles, David continued to make frequent trips back to Colorado to perform in many plays for the Little Theatre of the Rockies in Greeley as a professional guest artist alongside University of Northern Colorado theatre students. He last strode onto a Colorado stage in 2005 in "The Man Who Came to Dinner".
David was always singled out, especially in stage reviews, for his "deadly accurate comedic timing," "irresistible charm", and "ability to steal the show with ease." He brought those same qualities to his life off the stage. When David's friends were looking for someone to entertain guests on his 60th birthday, they recruited the master himself and he dazzled.
For all his sparkling performances on stage and screen, David's greatest role was as himself. He filled a room like he filled hearts - with his joyous laugh, generous spirit and unbridled enthusiasm. He was so brilliant at the fine art of telling a joke that no one could top him and pity those who tried. He loved movies, books, magazines, architecture, cars, boats, food, travel and, above all, people. He dreamed of traveling the Thames on a riverboat; his ashes will now make the trip.
He is survived by his adored ex-wife, Gillie Richards of Hove, England, stepchildren, Pascale, Laurent and Yann and countless friends.
David now has moved on to a new audience for his superlative joke-telling -- that's not thunder, it's laughter you hear from above.
A celebration of David's life will be held on July 26th.
RICHARDS, David Merrill
Born: 6/2/1946, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Died: 6/11/2009, Burbank, California, U.S.A.
David Richards westerns - actor:
The Legend of Jesse James (TV) - 1966 (Jim Younger)
The Big Valley (TV) - 1966 (Skinny)
The Young Riders (TV) - 1991