An alumnus of both Washington State University and Pomona College, Addison Richards began acting on an amateur basis in California's Pilgrimage Play, then became associate director of the Pasadena Playhouse. In films from 1933, Richards was one of those dependable, distinguished types, a character player of the Samuel S. Hinds/Charles Trowbridge/John Litel school. Like those other gentlemen, Richards was perfectly capable of alternating between respectable authority figures and dark-purposed villains. He was busiest at such major studios as MGM, Warners, and Fox, though he was willing to show up at Monogram and PRC if the part was worth playing. During the TV era, Addison Richards was a regular on four series: He was narrator/star of 1953's Pentagon USA, wealthy Westerner Martin Kingsley on 1958's Cimarron City, Doc Gamble in the 1959 video version of radio's Fibber McGee and Molly, and elderly attorney John Abbott on the short-lived 1963 soap opera Ben Jerrod.