In Grace Wyndham Goldie’s The Liverpool Repertory Theatre  she records that “Richard Bird, already known in Liverpool as an amateur actor, joined the company in the autumn of 1918 and remained with it until the summer of 1921. The promise of his acting in small parts was quickly remarked by the critics. And he was to leave Liverpool to become one of the most interesting of London’s ’juvenile leads’ “. His career was long and varied on both stage and screen, a prominent name in his day, but one whose fame has not survived the passage of time.
He was born George Bird on 4th April 1895, later adopting the stage name Richard in response to his fellow actors calling him ‘Dicky’. His father, William, was a Liverpool Pilot, married to Jane Elizabeth, living in Rocky Lane, Anfield at the time of their son’s birth. By 1901 they were living at 36 Valley Road L4, later moving to 27 Argyle Road L4.
Bird served in the army during the First World War and an article in the Liverpool Echo [17.12.1918] reported that he was leaving his job with the Pacific Steamship Navigation Company to become an Assistant Stage Manager with the Liverpool Playhouse.
He appeared on the stage in London and in America, returning often to Liverpool in touring productions. Making his debut in films as early as 1919, during the 1930’s and 40’s he appeared in nearly 30 films. One of his more prominent roles was in the Ealing production The Halfway House  a film which is still regularly shown on the Talking Pictures channel. Bird plays the character Squadron Leader French.
He was also a successful film and stage director. His 1943 production of the stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock featured an up and coming actor, Richard Attenborough, who reprised the role in the 1947 film version.
On 7th March 1931 he married the young actress Joyce Barbour at St Pancras registry office. He died in Northwood, Middlesex in 1979, his wife having died four years earlier.
The Bird family home in 1901
The Bird family home in 1911
© Liverpool Footprints