Richard (I) Bright filmography and biography
Date of birth: 28 June 1937, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of death: 18 February 2006, New York City, New York, USA (struck by a bus)
Richard (I) Bright biography
Fair complexioned, cold eyed actor Richard Bright has notched up an impressive array of character performances of often shifty, or deadly characters on the wrong side of the law. First came to attention as a burglar in the engrossing The Panic in Needle Park, and then followed it the following year playing a slick con artist hustling naive Ali MacGraw for the bank robbery loot in The Getaway, before Steve McQueen (I) pummels Bright to get the money back. Additionally, in 1972 he made his first appearance as bodyguard / enforcer "Al Neri" protecting Al Pacino in The Godfather, and returned in the same role in The Godfather: Part II and, 16 years later, he was back once again still protecting mob boss Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part III. Bright's look's have endeared him to casting agents looking for criminals & cops, as he has also appeared in Sergio Leone (I)'s, Once Upon a Time in America, Sam Raimi's crazy _Crimewave (1985/I)_, the union tale, Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992) (TV) and Witness to the Mob (1998) (TV). In addition, he has appeared regularly on TV in police/drama shows such as Hill Street Blues, Houston Knights, Third Watch and The Sopranos.
Richard (I) Bright trivia
- He was struck and killed by the rear wheels of a tour bus on the Upper West Side of New York City. The bus driver did not even know anyone was struck and kept on driving. Police interviewed the driver, at the bus terminal, and no charges were filed.
- During the 1960s Lenny Bruce rage over rights of artistic free speech, poet/playwright Michael McClure (I)'s controversial play "The Beard" premiered on December 18, 1965, at the Actor's Workshop of San Francisco. It starred Richard as Billy the Kid and Billie Dixon as 'Jean Harlow'. The next few performances of the play took place at The Committee, a San Francisco theater nightclub. The play was secretly tape-recorded by the San Francisco Police Department, Billie and Richard were arrested backstage one night after a performance allegedly for using "blue" language. The actors were charged with "obscenity", then "conspiracy to commit a felony," and ultimately with "lewd and dissolute conduct in a public place." The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case, and the charges were eventually dismissed in what was considered a precedent for artistic expression rights. "The Beard" was originally agreed by McClure to be made into a film by Andy Warhol but he withdrew permission on the advice of attorneys. Warhol made the film anyway in 1966 starring two of his actor/groupies, Mary Woronov and Gerard Malanga, and gave the only print to McClure as a gift. The movie was never released.