Richeson died Tuesday of heart failure, his agent, Hugh Leon of Coast to Coast Talent Group, confirmed to Deadline.
Richeson, originally an extra on Deadwood, played the role of Richardson, an unkempt, seemingly simple-minded employee at the Grand Central Hotel whose duties include cleaning and cooking. He had a strange fixation on a deer’s antler, bringing it wherever he went and clinging to it when frightened.
Actor Jim Beaver, who played Whitney Ellsworth on the series, paid tribute to Richeson on his Facebook page: “One of our most beloved comrades from DEADWOOD is gone. Ralph Richeson, an actor plucked from the crowd of background players and given the chance to create the remarkably memorable character of Richardson, the hotel flunky with the sweet spirit, died this morning in hospice. I don’t think there was anyone remotely involved in the show who didn’t love Ralph. He was kind, infinitely sweet, and far, far smarter than his character. I will miss you forever, my friend. I raise antlers in honor of your passage.”
After Deadwood, Richeson went on to appear as a convict in the feature Hancock and as an overworked homeless man in The Revenant. He also appeared in an episode of NBC’s Parks And Recreation.