Ralph Richeson (July 6, 1952 – October 27, 2015) was an American actor and painter best known for his role of Richardson, the fictional Grand Central Hotel's disheveled, eccentric cook on the HBO television series, Deadwood. Richeson was originally an extra on Deadwood, before the show's producer, David Milch, noticed him and gave him one line, which became Richeson's first onscreen credit. This led to Richeson's recurring role as the cook in 20 episodes of Deadwood. The series aired on HBO for three seasons from 2004 to 2006.
Richeson was well liked on the set of Deadwood, the show that marked his first credited speaking role as an actor. Jim Beaver, who portrayed gold prospector Whitney Ellsworth on the show, later wrote in a 2015 Facebook post, "I don’t think there was anyone remotely involved in the show who didn’t love Ralph." Richeson's recurring character, the eccentric cook, Richardson, who appeared in 20 of the show's 36 episodes, was fascinated with deer antlers, which he possessed in most of his scenes on the show.
Ralph Richeson, who was also a painter, was born on July 6, 1952 in Peru, Indiana, to Elsie Crisci Olson Richeson and Ralph Woodson Richeson Jr. In addition to Deadwood, his film roles included a prison convict in the 2008 film, Hancock, starring Will Smith, and an "overworked homeless man" in the 2009 film, The Revenant. He was also cast as the "ghoulish man" in The Master Plan, a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation.
Richeson died from heart failure at Palmdale Regional Medical Center in Palmdale, California, on October 27, 2015, at the age of 63. He was survived by one brother, Harry; a sister-in-law, Linda; and four nieces and a nephew, Tatia Richeson Hyde, Jodi Richeson, Michelle Richeson, Ashley Richeson and Jason Richeson. He was preceded in death by his older brother Robert Richeson, and his nephew Robert Richeson II.
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- Gallagher, Brian (2015-10-30). "'Deadwood' Cook Ralph Richeson Passes Away at Age 63". MovieWeb. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
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- Jaguar, Joanna (2015-10-30). "Ralph Richeson, 'Deadwood's' Eccentric, Antler-Loving Chef, Dies at 63". Inquisitr. Retrieved 2015-11-21.