David Terence "Terry" Richards (2 November 1932 – 14 June 2014) 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. 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.
Born in South London to Welsh parents, he served in the Welsh Guards. 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. In 1958 he served as a fighting extra alongside Kirk Douglas in The Vikings, and in 1960 was a co-founder of The Stunt Register, a UK industry list of accredited stunt performers. He also appeared in an episode of The Avengers as a Cybernaut, a murderous silver robot controlled by Peter Cushing.
Richards' most famous scene was as the scripted "large Arabian swordsman" in the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark. 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. 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. It was later voted in at No.5 on Playboy magazine's list of best all-time scenes, and also created a Lego character of the large Arab.
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. Richards lived his later life in Ruislip. His funeral service and burial took place on 24 June 2014 at Breakspear Crematorium.
- The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) - Medical Student (uncredited)
- The Idol (1966) - Laborer
- Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) - Resistance Member (uncredited)
- The Dirty Dozen (1967) - Blake (uncredited)
- Attack on the Iron Coast (1968) - Commando (uncredited)
- Hammerhead (1968) - Parking Garage Thug (uncredited)
- The Last Valley (1971) - Norseman (uncredited)
- 1000 Convicts and a Woman (1971)
- Kidnapped (1973) - Mungo Campbell
- The Mackintosh Man (1973) - Inmate (uncredited)
- Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976) - Monks Hill Rugger Team
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1978) - Bruce the Knife
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Wampa (uncredited)
- Flash Gordon (1980) - Ming's Brute #4
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Arab Swordsman
- High Road to China (1983) - Ginger
- Red Sonja (1985) - Djart
- Haunted Summer (1988) - Fletcher
- Good Girl, Bad Girl (1990) - Man (uncredited)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - Carver's thug (uncredited) (final film role)
- "Terry Richards: UK stunt man dies aged 81". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Alan Hayes (24 June 2014). "Funeral of Raiders Of The Lost Ark stuntman Terry Richards". GetWestLondon.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- showing on freeview channel 61, Jan 2016
- "Indiana Jones Stuntman Terry Richards Interview". Red Carpet News. 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "The Urban Legends of Indiana Jones". Lucasfilm. 2004-01-13. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-03-11.