Actor & Comedian
8th December 1930 - 11th Feb 2005
Yorkshire born actor Stan Richards, was best known to television viewers
for his portrayal of Seth Armstrong, the poacher turned gamekeeper in
the ITV soap Emmerdale, died on February 11 2005, aged 74. Seth was one of
the soaps most colourful characters, a rogue-like figure who might have
stepped from the pages of Dickens.
Spotted by a BBC producer, he was offered a leading role as a coal miner in Barry Hines’ acclaimed 1977 Play for Today, The Price of Coal, opposite fellow northern comedian Bobby Knutt. The production, directed by Ken Loach, led to other television appearances, including Crown Court, All Creatures Great and Small and, most notably, as Councillor Arthur Stokes in Coronation Street.
It was however his role as Seth Armstrong that made Richards a national name and he recieved huge fan mail each week from viewers and gifts of woolly hats. In the mid-eighties the programme was given a makeover and grittier plots were introduced. Meaner characters and extra-marital liasons became the norm, although the character of Seth remained unchanged.
In 2002 Richards was presented to the Queen when she visited the Emmerdale set and in 2005 he toasted 25 years in the series.
Offscreen Richards was involved in several showbusiness charities and
was a member of the British Music Hall Society. He was struck by tragedy
in 2004 when his son, Irvin, 36, the youngest of six children, died in
a road accident. Richards had suffered from emphysema and shortly before
his death he was admitted to hospital after suffering a collapsed lung.
His wife, Susan, whom he married in 1952 died in 1994. He died peacefully
in his sleep and was survived by two sons and three daughters.