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Ralph Richeson, the eccentric actor who portrayed the disheveled cook Richardson at the Grand Central Hotel on the HBO series Deadwood, has died. He was 63.
Richeson, who was an extra on the popular Western before producer David Milch saw something and gave him a line, leading to his first onscreen credit, died Tuesday of heart failure at Palmdale Regional Medical Center, his agent, Hugh Leon of Coast to Coast Talent Group, told The Hollywood Reporter.
On Deadwood, which ran for three seasons from 2004-06, Richeson’s character appeared simple-minded, rarely spoke and had a fixation with a deer’s antler, bringing it along with him wherever he went.
“I don’t think there was anyone remotely involved in the show who didn’t love Ralph,” actor Jim Beaver, who played prospector Whitney Ellsworth on the series, wrote on Facebook. “He was kind, infinitely sweet and far, far smarter than his character. I will miss you forever, my friend. I raise antlers in honor of your passage.”
After Deadwood, Richeson, a native of Peru, Indiana, appeared as a convict in the Will Smith starrer Hancock (2008), as an “overworked homeless man” in The Revenant (2009) and as a “ghoulish man” in a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation. He also was a painter.
Survivors include his brothers Terry and Charlie, sister-in-law Linda, niece Angela and nephew Mark.
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