Richard Sale Update

Update: Richard’s brother Tom sent me photographs, and I added some of them to the original post about Richard here.

I went to the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to watch Richard Sale’s performance in The Danube. Unfortunately, it was on video tape which had deteriorated badly. You couldn’t really make out the actor’s faces, and the sound was so bad I couldn’t hear most of it. Towards the end there were a few, brief close-up scenes where I could see and hear him a teeny bit better. But I can’t tell you anything about him based on what little I could see. He was young. He was in good shape.

I think if I was someone who loved him I’d want to go to the library and watch it, if only for the scenes when you can make out his voice. Hearing the sound of someone’s voice, after they are gone, it can be more powerful and affecting than a photograph.

Here is the 1984 Frank Rich review of The Danube in the New York Times. He was not a fan, but his problem was with the play and the director, not the actors.

Hunting around on I learned that Richard was born in Texas in 1952, graduated from Denton High School in 1970, and he went to the University of Michigan. He acted a bit, then he died here, in New York, on August 29, 1985. So he was only 33. And he was living in my neighborhood at the time. I have to find out where. I’ve been in this neighborhood since … 1981 or 1982. Maybe we were neighbors.

Richard (Rick to his high school friends) also won third prize in a poetry contest when he was 18. His obituary, which appeared in the Victoria Advocate on September 4, 1985, follows.

Richard Sale

Richard Sale III Obituary

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Richard Sale Update

  1. Stacy. Richard was my older brother (by 9 years). He lived life big and dramatic in the best way. He was handsome, magnetic, always had smart beautiful friends around him. He was also troubled by depression that I was mostly unaware of as a young person. He had a strained relationship with my parents especially during the last year/months of his life. I looked up to him as the epitome of a cosmopolitan actor. Unfortunately, he died pre internet and it’s also difficult and sad not to be able to find much professional info on him. I saw in in one or two productions. The story of God’s Love We Deliver was one I had to learn years later from the internet. I would love to share some photos I have of and by Richard, if you would like to see them. (Or any stories I could share to help you understand him or his death better.) Feel free to contact me at

  2. Tom, thank you so so much for stopping by and telling us something about Richard. Whoever reads about the story of God’s Love We Deliver wants to know more about him. I’d love to see the photographs. Are you able to scan them? I will email you in case you don’t come back to see this.

  3. Rick was a friend. We both graduated from Denton High School in 1970. He was one of a group of friends who met again back in Denton on summer break from college in the Summer of 1974. Here is a photo I shot of him sitting on his family’s front porch at dusk one night in June.

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