He was one of the first British officers in France on D-Day, as parachutist in the 7th Battalion, Light Infantry. It was he that made first contact with the gliders and with Major John Howard who was in command of defencing the Pegasus Bridge (Orne Bridge).
After the war he went back to his career as an actor and starred in many great WWII movies including Dam Busters, D-Day, the sixth of June and The Longest Day. It’s in his role in the Longest Day that things get confusing.
The Longest Day is a sweeping war drama about the Normandy landings ecompassing all sections of the battle from the naval bombardment, the infantry landings by sea, parachute and by glider as well as the air support. In it, Richard Todd played the role of Major John Howard, the commander at Pegasus Bridge. To make it more confusing they had another actor play him. So, in a sense, he played opposite himself, what actor can say that?
Unfortnately this great story only come to light due to the fact that Richard Todd died on Thursday 3rd December at the heroic age of 90.