Famous Faces from Richmond

Richmond has always attracted famous faces, too many to mention in one article.

We’ve discovered some surprising names from the field of entertainment you may or may not know about who have a connection to the area.

Richard and David Attenborough

Richard Attenborough by gdcgraphics, CC BY 2.0, 
David Attenborough by John Cairns (The Bodleian Libraries) CC BY 4.0

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough lives in Richmond and has described it as his “favourite place on Earth” citing London’s classical music scene and climate. His brother actor/director Richard lived next to Richmond Green for over 60 years until just before his death.

Tom Hardy

By Tim Cornbill, CC BY-SA 2.0

Tom Hardy, star of Taboo, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception was brought up in East Sheen and still has a home in the area.


The Rolling Stones

By Gorupdebesanez under CC BY-SA 3.0

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood used to live at The Wick which he purchased from Sir John Mills. He built a studio in the basement and Keith Richards reportedly lived in the coach house for a few months whilst they were recording.

Whilst married to American model Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger had a house just down the road on Richmond Hill.

Sir Noël Coward

Photo: Allan Warren under CC-BY-SA 3.0

Sir Noël Coward, actor, director and playwright was born in Teddington in 1899. He wrote critically acclaimed plays such as Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, Private Lives and Present Laughter, many of which have been performed at Richmond Theatre

Sir John Mills

Acting legend Sir John Mills and his family lived in a house called The Wick on Richmond Hill until 1971. The sound of the wind is said to have inspired the title of his wife Mary Hayley Bell’s novel Whistle Down the Wind. The novel was made into a film starring their daughter Hayley who has kept close ties with the town, recently appearing in pantomime at the theatre.

Brian Blessed

Acting legend Brian Blessed claims to have delivered a baby under a tree in Richmond Park in the 1960s.

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley. Photo credit: Tony Shek under CC BY 2.0

Pirates of the Caribbean star was born in Teddington in 1985 and attended Teddington School and Esher College.

Other actors who have connections to the Richmond area include Samantha Bond (former Miss Moneypenny), Keeley Hawes, Robert Pattinson, Philip Glenister, Peter Davison, Jon Pertwee, Amanda Holden, Jane Horrocks, Richard E. Grant, David Garrick, Rik Mayall and Helen Baxendale.

In Twickenham is Brinsworth House, a retirement home for theatre and entertainment professionals. Former residents include Dame Thora Hird and DJ Alan “Fluff” Freeman.