Thursday, June 20, 2013

Remembering Richard Wyler

Richard Stapley was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, on June 20, 1923. A writer, Stapley published his first novel when he was just 17 years old. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.
Following the end of World War II, Stapley began appearing in theater roles in London. He soon signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), making his film debut in the 1948 film, “The Three Musketeers”, opposite Elizabeth Taylor. He next appeared in the 1949 remake, “Little Women”, in which he played John Brooke, the love interest of Janet Leigh's character, Meg.
He continued to appear in a string of Hollywood films at different studios during the 1940s and 1950s, including the 1951 period drama “The Strange Door”, which co-starred Boris Karlof and Charles Laughton; 1953's “King of the Khyber Rifles”, opposite Tyrone Power; “Charge of the Lancers” with Paulette Goddard; and “The Iron Glove” with Robert Stack in 1954. In 1955 Stapley starred in “Target Zero” as a British UN tank commander serving in the Korean War.
Stapley returned to the United Kingdom and Europe in 1960, where he adopted the stage name, Richard Wyler. His British television credits from that era included the crime series, “Man From Interpol”. He also appeared in a series of European-made adventure and western films using the name, Richard Wyler, including “The Barbarians”, “The Rattler Kid”, “The Ugly Ones”, “Dick Smart”, and “The Girl From Rio”, which co-starred Shirley Eaton and George Sanders.
During the 1970s, Stapley returned to film roles under his birth name, Richard Stapley. He co-starred in the 1970 film, “Connecting Rooms”, opposite Michael Redgrave and Bette Davis. He was also cast in Alfred Hitchcock's “Frenzy”.
When his acting roles became fewer he became a radio announcer in Britain and also drove racing motorcycles where he was hospitalized after a crash. He had his own motor cycle courier company and wrote a regular column for Motor Cycling magazine, Richard Wyler's Coffee Bar Column
Stapley became a naturalized U.S. citizen during his later life. He focused on writing following his acting career. He published a novel entitled, Naked Legacy, in 2004. Stapley also completed a second novel and corresponding adapted screenplay, both called Tomorrow Will Be Cancelled. He was working on an autobiography at the time of his death of kidney failure on March 5, 2010, at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California.
Today we remember Richard Wyler on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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