Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ian William Richardson CBE (born April 7, 1934) is a British actor best known for playing the Machiavellian politician Francis Urquhart in the House of Cards trilogy for the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre and to North American television viewers as the man in the Rolls Royce who asks "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon ?" in the Grey Poupon commercials.
He has also worked in American theatre, acting in and directing Peter Brook's Marat/Sade ) on Broadway in 1965. He would play the part of Jean-Paul Marat again in the 1967 film version. He played Professor Harold Hill in the 1976 revival of The Music Man and received a Tony nomination. He also appeared on Broadway in 1981 in the original production of Edward Albee's play Lolita, an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's book.
He has made many film appearances, the best known being in Dark City (1998), but include such diverse roles as Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) and Martin Landau's butler in the Halle Berry film B*A*P*S (1997).
Richardson's memorable TV performances include the original "mole" in the BBC adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and the Master of Porterhouse College in ITV's adaptation of Porterhouse Blue . He has also starred in several installments of Murder Rooms (a production for British television and PBS's Mystery!), playing Dr. Joseph Bell, the mentor of Arthur Conan Doyle.
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