The Viney Agency


Chris Haslam

Everybody my age should be issued with a 2lb fresh salmon,’ Richard Griffiths once told an interviewer. He was about to open in Peter Shaffer’s play, Equus, in which his co-star, Daniel Radliffe, appeared on stage naked. ‘If you see someone young, beautiful and happy, you should slap them as hard as you can with it. When they ask, “Why did you do that?” you say “Because, you lucky young bastard, you don’t know how fortunate you are.” And they don’t...’

Richard’s size was his trademark, and you would go a long way to find a man, woman or child in Britain who wouldn’t instantly recognise his mischievous, fleshy face and vast girth, and smile at the memory. Ask who he was and, without hesitation, they would say ‘Uncle Monty in Withnail and I or Hector in The History Boys or Harry Potter’s evil Uncle Vernon’.

Richard Griffiths was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire in 1947. His parents were both deaf-mutes who lived a hand to mouth existence.Richard’s acting career began to take off in 1974 when he was seen by an RSC director who cast him as the executioner in Measure for Measure. He ended up staying with the RSC for the next ten years, playing all the memorable character roles, then went on to national  national-treasure status with a series of legendary roles on stage and screen. Richard, who died in 2012, inspired extraordinary love and loyalty from all those who knew him.

The Viney Agency represents Richard Griffiths’ literary estate.