Cyril Ritchard

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Cyril Ritchard (1 December 1897 – 18 December 1977) was an Australian stage, screen and television actor, and director. He is probably best remembered today for his campy performance as Captain Hook in the Mary Martin musical production of Peter Pan.

Life and career

He was born Cyril Trimnell-Ritchard in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia, son of Sydney-born parents, Herbert Trimnell Ritchard, a Protestant grocer, and his wife Marguerite, a devout Roman Catholic who ensured her son was raised and educated (by the Jesuits at St Aloysius' College) as a Roman Catholic. In consequence, he became an equally devout Roman Catholic who attended Sunday Mass wherever he happened to be.

Early in his career, Ritchard played in numerous musical comedies, including Yes, Uncle! and Going Up, both in 1918 and both with Madge Elliott (later his wife).

He achieved star status in 1954 as Captain Hook in the Broadway production of Peter Pan co-starring Mary Martin, with whom he shared the same birthday (1 December). For his work in the show, Ritchard received a Tony Award. Both Ritchard and Martin reprised their roles in the NBC television productions of the musical, beginning with a live color telecast in 1955.

He also appeared onstage in The Happiest Girl in the World, Sugar, The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (with Anthony Newley), Roar Like a Dove, and The Irregular Verb to Love.

His film appearances include a villainous role in Alfred Hitchcock's early talkie Blackmail...
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