Occasionally the stage and screen has a real hero and this man was one of them: Dam Busters Actor Richard Todd Dies Aged 90
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The actor Richard Todd, best known for his role in the classic war film The Dam Busters, has died at the age of 90. His spokeswoman said Todd, who had been suffering from cancer, died peacefully in his sleep last night.
Best known for his role as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the classic 1954 film about the daring British raids on the Ruhr dams, Todd was also a war hero in his own right and was one of the first British soldiers parachuted into France on D-Day.
He was an officer in the Parachute Regiment and made contact with Major Howard at the Orne Bridge now called Pegasus Bridge but, in a bizarre movie twist, later relived his past when he played the role of Major Howard in the 1962 war film, The Longest Day, with, ironically, another actor playing himself.
Todd appeared in scores of other films including Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright, as Sir Walter Raleigh in The Virgin Queen, opposite Bette Davis, as Robin Hood in Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, and in Breakout/Danger Within, a tale of the escape of British POWs from an Italian prison camp near the end of the second world war.
Todd was also the first choice of author Ian Fleming to play James Bond, but because of other commitments he had to turn it down. The role eventually went to Sean Connery.
Watch a scene from The Dam Busters which apparently influenced the attack on the Death Star scene in Star Wars IV: A New Hope...