Richard Cummins

Richard Cummins known professionally as Ritchie Stewart was born in Dublin into a large theatrical family in 1930. His brother Danny was a well known comedian, his sister was a dancer and two of his brothers were involved in early cinema. He was writing scripts and sketches from his early years and continued to do so even in his retirement. He was a founding member of the ’66 Theatre Company. This company operated out of the Gas Company Showrooms in Dun Laoghaire for many years. The showroom included a theatre with a red-velvet curtained proscenium stage and 185 red plush tip-up seats, designed for cookery demonstrations but was discovered and used by professional companies. Many actors played there among them Michael Bogdanov, Pauline Delaney, Godfrey Quigley and Jack McGowan to name but a few.

He went to London in the late 60s and appeared in several West End musicals including 1776 which was produced in London in 1970. Another of his stage appearances was in the 1980 production of Juno and the Paycock when he played Needles Nugent with Judy Dench playing Juno. He had previously played the role in Dublin in 1966 when Peter O’Toole played the Captain.

He appeared in several films including Ulysses and The Naked Civil Servant and also in many TV shows including Tolka Row, The Bill, The Sweeney and Sykes and many others in the 70s and 80s.

When he retired he travelled the world spending months in India, in Africa, and in Vietnam. He didn’t stay in hotels and do the touristy things, he lived with the people, stayed in their homes, ate what they ate.

He died peacefully in Northwick Park Hospital on October 16th 2017 after a long illness.

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