Open main menu

David Terence "Terry" Richards (2 November 1932 – 14 June 2014)[1][2] was a British actor and stuntman, best known for his appearance as the Arabian swordsman in the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[1] During his career, Richards worked on over 100 productions across film and television; worked in nine James Bond films; fought as a stuntman in scenes with Indiana Jones, James Bond, Luke Skywalker and Rambo; and doubled for Donald Sutherland, Tom Selleck and Christopher Lee.[1][2]


Born in South London to Welsh parents,[1][2] he served in the Welsh Guards.[1][2] After finishing his national service, in 1957 whilst working as a scaffolder, a friend from the Guards told him they needed extras with military training. After gaining the job, he was asked if he could fall off scaffolding during a riot scene, which he accepted.[1][2] In 1958 he served as a fighting extra alongside Kirk Douglas in The Vikings,[1][2] and in 1960 was a co-founder of The Stunt Register, a UK industry list of accredited stunt performers.[1][2] He also appeared in an episode of The Avengers as a Cybernaut, a murderous silver robot controlled by Peter Cushing.[3]

Richards' most famous scene was as the scripted "large Arabian swordsman" in the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[1] Director Steven Spielberg shot the production's Cairo, Egypt-located fight scenes in the town of Kairouan, Tunisia. Richards had practised for weeks with his heavy Arabian sword to create the scripted fight scene, choreographing a fight between the swordsman and Jones's whip.[4] However, after filming the initial shots of the scene and with Ford suffering from dysentery, after lunch Ford and Spielberg agreed to cut the scene down to a single gunshot, giving Jones a humorously unfair advantage.[5] It was later voted in at No.5 on Playboy magazine's list of best all-time scenes,[4] and also created a Lego character of the large Arab.[1]

Richards retired after his last performance in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, where his character beat-up Pierce Brosnan in a recording studio in Germany.[1] Richards lived his later life in Ruislip.[2] His funeral service and burial took place on 24 June 2014 at Breakspear Crematorium.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Terry Richards: UK stunt man dies aged 81". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Alan Hayes (24 June 2014). "Funeral of Raiders Of The Lost Ark stuntman Terry Richards". Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  3. ^ showing on freeview channel 61, Jan 2016
  4. ^ a b "Indiana Jones Stuntman Terry Richards Interview". Red Carpet News. 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  5. ^ "The Urban Legends of Indiana Jones". Lucasfilm. 2004-01-13. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-03-11.

External linksEdit