Paul Richards (November 23, 1924 - December 10, 1974) was a Jewish American actor who appeared in films and on television in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s until his death from cancer at the age of fifty. He married actress Monica Keating (July 20, 1924 -September 10, 1985) in 1953.
Richards guest-starred in a number of classic television western series, including Gunsmoke and Bonanza. In fact, one of Richards' most memorable appearances came in the very first Gunsmoke episode, entitled "Matt Gets It," broadcast on September 10, 1955, where Richards portrays the first antagonist to outdraw and nearly kill Marshall Dillon. He made additional guest appearances in 1956, 1958, and 1968, respectively.
Richards guest starred three times in 1956 on the NBC western anthology series Frontier, having portrayed Louis Rose in "The Texicans", John Webb in "The Big Dry", and Will Shaw in "The Salt War". He guest starred in Brian Keith's first series, Crusader, a Cold War drama. Richards appeared twice on the ABC and later syndicated western series Tombstone Territory, starring Pat Conway and Richard Eastham, in the episodes "Thicker than Water" (1958) and "The Noose That Broke" (1959).
He also guest starred in the syndicated The Silent Service, a drama based on true stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy. He appeared on two other syndicated crime dramas, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield, and The Brothers Brannagan, with Stephen Dunne and Mark Roberts.
In 1959, he appeared in a five-part episode entitled "Louie K" in the role of Louis "Louie" Kassoff in NBC's 1920s crime drama The Lawless Years with James Gregory. Over the years, Richards guest starred in many television series, including NBC's Dan Raven, a crime drama starring Skip Homeier, and CBS's anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show as "Doc" in the 1962 episode, "Testing Ground".
He starred as Dr. McKinley Thompson in the 1963-1964 medical drama Breaking Point, set in a hospital psychiatric ward. His co-star was Eduard Franz. Breaking Point aired the same year as the second season of NBC's related series, The Eleventh Hour starring Jack Ging and Ralph Bellamy. He appeared with Roy Thinnes in the 1964 episode "Murder by Scandal" of the CBS drama The Reporter starring Harry Guardino. He appeared in a 1964 episode of The Fugitive entitled A.P.B. as an escaped convict opposite David Janssen's Dr. Richard Kimble. Richards' portrayal of an amoral killer with a refined intellect was an especially compelling performance in that popular drama's legendary run.
He appeared as the mutant leader Mendez in the film Beneath the Planet of the Apes. His guest appearances included Walt Disney's Zorro as Hernando.
Richards was entombed in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery near Moe Howard.