Respected British actor Ian Richardson died in his sleep early this morning. He was 72. Richardson, who was best known for his Shakespearian roles and as a character actor, was not suffering from any illness before his death. Richardson is perhaps best known in the UK for his portrayal of MAChiavellian politician FRANCIS URQUART in the BBC drama HOUSE OF CARDS, and he also starred in a host of movies including CRY FREEDOM and BRAZIL. Richardson's last performance in the Anne Hathaway-starring JANE AUSTEN biopic BECOMING JANE is set to hit screens later this year (07).