Funnily, Richard didn’t start acting at a young age. Instead, he chose to go to Budapest to join a circus for six weeks.
After he’d come to his senses, he enrolled in London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and completed his three year course.
He then took part in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions of Macbeth, The Duchess of Malfi and Hamlet.
Richard then moved into TV and took on a number of small roles in many TV shows but it was in 2004 that he made his break.
He took his first leading role as John Thornton is North and South and this is where the majority of his female fan base come from.
In 2006, Richard took the major role of Guy of Gisborne in the BBC series, Robin Hood, in which he starred in until the series finished in 2009.
One of his biggest roles to date was as Lucas North in Spooks. He joined the TV series in series 7 and stayed with it for two seasons until he character died.
In 2011 he starred in the massive Captain America: The First Avenger as Nazi spy Heinz Kruger. Although it was a small role, he gave it his all a gave a brilliant performance.
He now stars in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Thorin Oakenshield in which he and his friends travel to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo Baggins to reclaim their treasure.
It’s his biggest role to date and is sure to define him as an actor, propelling him into A-list proportions.
It’s been announced that he will star in both The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again and he will also star in thriller Black Sky in-between.
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Cara Mason @cara_mason