However, Briers' career was bookended with Shakespeare: beginning as a young Hamlet in rep theatre, who's frenetic delivery was remarked upon by critics; and, in his later years, collaborating with Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre and Renaissance Films, which would bring Richard Briers to an entirely new generation of film and theatre-goers. We would see him get to grips with vastly different characters, from Malvolio to King Lear and Bardolph (among others).
Here are just a few photographs and screenshots of Richard Briers' brilliant work as some of Shakespeare's greatest characters:
|Briers as Hamlet -Duthy Hall, London, 1956|
|Richard Briers as Malvolio in Renaissance Theatre's production of Twelfth Night, 1987|
|As the recently hanged Bardolph in Henry V, 1989|
|He went back to the stage in 1990 with Renaissance Theatre's King Lear|
|Richard Briers as Leonato in Renaissance Film's Much Ado About Nothing, 1993|
|Opposite Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, Briers played Polonius in Renaissance Film's Hamlet, 1996|
|In 2002, Briers played Prospero in The Tempest|
|Richard Briers (Adam) and David Oyelowo (Orlando) in Renaissance Film's As You Like It, 2006|
The veteran actor succumbed to emphysema on 17th February, 2013, dying at his home in London. Taken from us too soon, Briers' talent will, thankfully, live on in his work for both television and film.
Sir Kenneth Branagh said of Briers, "He was a national treasure, a great actor and a wonderful man."