Kenneth Richmond

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Kenneth Alan Richmond (10 July 1926 – 3 August 2006) was an English heavyweight wrestler.

Kenneth Richmond
Medal record
Men's freestyle wrestling
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1952 Helsinki Heavyweight
Representing  England
British Empire (and Commonwealth) Games
Gold medal – first place 1954 Vancouver Heavyweight
Bronze medal – third place 1950 Auckland Heavyweight

Richmond was born in London. His father abandoned the family when Richmond was 3. Before he got into freestyle wrestling, he was a whale ship crewman.

At 6'5" and 265 lbs, he won a bronze medal at the 1952 Olympics, as well as a bronze medal at the 1950 British Empire Games, and a gold medal at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. He stayed fit enough into his later years to win medals for rollerblading and windsurfing in his 60s.[citation needed]

Though he appeared as the wrestler Nikolas in Jules Dassin's film noir, Night and the City (1950),[1] Richmond was perhaps most recognisable as the shirtless gongman banging the enormous gong preceding the opening credits for films produced or distributed by the Rank Organisation. He was the fourth - and last - actor to take the job. According to the BBC, he had revealed to friends that the gong seen in the Rank Organisation's opening never rang, as it was a papier-mâché stage prop and he never actually struck it with any force, joking "If you hit that gong, you would have gone straight through."[2]

He was a Jehovah's Witness for most of his life, being jailed as a conscientious objector during World War II. In later life, he was a volunteer minister for the organisation.[2] He died at age 80 in his home in Christchurch. (Richmond’s wife, Valentina, died in 1996).[citation needed]

Filmography Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1950 Night and the City Nikolas of Athens
1954 Mad About Men Zampa Uncredited
1956 The Iron Petticoat Igor - Group 9 Operative Uncredited, (final film role)

References Edit

  1. ^ Schager, Nick. Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Slant Magazine, DVD review of Night and the City, 16 February 2005. Last accessed: 3 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b Hevesi

Bibliography Edit

  • London Daily Mirror, 12 August 2006
  • BBC Radio 4 Last Word, 18 August 2006
  • Hevesi, Dennis (14 August 2006). "MOVIES: Ken Richmond, 80, Gong-Striker Familiar to Filmgoers, Dies". The New York Times.

External links Edit