The Dam Busters star and real life war hero Richard Todd has died at the age of 90.
Todd, best known for his role in the 1955 World War II epic, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Grantham, England on Thursday (03Dec09).
The Irish-born star began as a stage actor in the 1930s, but his promising career was cut short by war and he joined the British Army. He graduated to the position of captain in the British 6th Airborne Division and took part in the famous D-Day landings of 1944.
After the war, Todd returned to the stage for a production of The Hasty Heart and was chosen to star in a Hollywood adaptation which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1949. For his second role he teamed up with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock to star in 1950 thriller Stage Fright.
He went on to play heroes including folk legends Robin Hood and Rob Roy, before landing a role in The Dam Busters. He also starred in another well-known World War II epic The Longest Day in 1962, in which he relived the D-Day landings.
Todd came close to landing the iconic role of James Bond in the super-spy's movie debut Dr. No. The actor was 007 author Ian Fleming's first choice to play the suave secret agent, but a scheduling conflict ruled him out of the movie and handed the part to Sean Connery.
The veteran star continued to act in the 1980s with roles in British TV shows including crime series Silent Witness and sci-fi classic Doctor Who and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.