Richard Marquand (22 September 1937 – 4 September 1987) was a Welsh film director, best known for directing 1983's Return of the Jedi. He also directed the critically acclaimed 1981 drama film Eye of the Needle and the 1985 thriller Jagged Edge.
22 September 1937|
Llanishen, Cardiff, Wales
|Died||4 September 1987
Tunbridge Wells, England
|Parent(s)||Hilary Marquand (father)|
|Relatives||David Marquand (brother)|
Marquand was born in Llanishen, Cardiff, Wales. He is the son of Rachel E. (née Rees) and Hilary Marquand, who was a Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister in the Post Second World War Labour Government. He is the younger brother of David Marquand, who also served as a Labour Party MP.
Richard Marquand was educated at Emanuel School, London, the University of Aix (now Aix-Marseille University) in Aix-en-Provence, France and King's College, Cambridge. During National Service he studied Mandarin and was posted to Hong Kong where he also read the news on the English language Hong Kong Television.
By the late 1960s, Marquand had begun a career writing and directing television documentaries for the BBC, where he worked on projects such as the 1972 series Search for the Nile and an edition of One Pair of Eyes (1968), about the novelist Margaret Drabble who had been a friend of his at Cambridge. He collaborated with the celebrated foreign correspondent, James Cameron, (not to be confused with the director) on a long running series called Cameron Country for BBC television and also with John Pilger on a series of films for ITV. In 1979, Marquand incorporated many of his documentary techniques in his biographical television movie Birth of the Beatles. He directed several films specifically for children including the 1977 Emmy winning Big Henry and the Polka Dot Kid.
On the strength of his direction of the 1981 feature, Eye of the Needle, Marquand was hired by producer George Lucas to direct Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In his commentary track on the DVD, Lucas explains that Marquand "had done some great suspense films and was really good with actors. Eye of the Needle was the film I'd seen that he had done that impressed me the most, it was really nicely done and had a lot of energy and suspense." Marquand was the only non-American to direct a Star Wars film until 2016, when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was directed by Gareth Edwards.
Marquand had four children; Hannah, Sam, Molly, and James, the last of whom is also a film director.
|1970||Edward II||Director||Television movie|
|1971||The Search for the Nile||Director||Television mini-series
Episodes "Conquest and Death" (1971)
"The Secret Fountains" (1971)
|1975||The Puritan Experience: Making of a New World||Director, writer||Short film|
|The Puritan Experience: Forsaking England||Director||Short film|
|1976||NBC Special Treat||Director, Writer (Luke Was There only)||Television series
Episodes "Big Henry and the Polka Dot Kid" (1976)
"Luke Was There" (1976)
|1979||Birth of the Beatles||Director|
|1981||Eye of the Needle||Director|
|1983||Return of the Jedi||Director||Maj. Marquand (AT-ST Driver) / EV-9D9 (voice)||Uncredited (voice role)|
|1987||Hearts of Fire||Director||Released posthumously|
|1993||Nowhere to Run||Writer (Story)|
- "Welsh film facts". BBC. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- Richard Marquand Biography (1937–)
- One Pair of Eyes: Margaret Drabble, BBC2, 9 March 1968, BBC Archive site
- Margaret Drabble "Once upon a life: Margaret Drabble", The Guardian, 5 December 2010
- Richard Marquand > Biography – AllMovie. Retrieved 25 September 2010.