British leading man who achieved some success in American films, as well. Born in Ireland as the son of a British officer, Todd grew up in Devon and (for a brief time) in India and attended Shrewsbury Public School. His interest in theatre led him to small roles in stock in England and Scotland and three tiny film roles, following which he helped found the Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1939. He served with distinction as a paratrooper in the Second World War and returned to considerably more prominent theatre roles, culminating in the role of “Lachie” in John Patrick’s “The Hasty Heart”, in which he played in London and then followed Richard Basehart in the Broadway production. He made his first major film appearance in 1948, and the next year was again cast as “Lachie”, this time in the film version of The Hasty Heart (1949). His performance, a truly star-making and moving piece of work, earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. He followed it with a role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright (1950), but although he continued to play leading roles, often in quite good films, he never again achieved the prominence and acclaim he had had with The Hasty Heart (1949). He was quite effective in such roles as “Robin Hood” and “Rob Roy”, and very touching as “Peter Marshall” in A Man Called Peter (1955). In The Longest Day (1962), he portrayed his own superior officer at the Pegasus Bridge fight, with another actor portraying Todd himself in a recreation of his own experiences. Ultimately, Todd’s starring roles dwindled, but he continued as a stalwart character actor, primarily in British films.
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