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Richard Cobb
Richard Cobb.jpg
Richard Cobb
Franchise: Universal Monsters
Notability: Supporting character
Type: Businessman
Gender: Male
Location: Radcliffe Manor, London, England
Status: Dead
Born: 1893 [1]
Died: 1940
1st appearance: Invisible Man Returns, The (1940)
Actor: Cedric Hardwicke

Richard Cobb is a fictional businessman featured in the Universal Monsters film series. He was a supporting character in the 1940 movie The Invisible Man Returns where he was played by actor Cedric Hardwicke.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Richard Cobb was a middle-aged businessman who lived in London, England during the 1930s and early 1940s. He was the cousin of Michael and Geoffrey Radcliffe and a partner in the family business, Radcliffe Colliery. He lived at the family's estate at Radcliffe Manor.

Richard was an unscrupulous and ambitious man, who coveted the family fortune and business pursuits. To this end, he murdered Michael Radcliffe deep inside one of the coal mine shafts. He convinced a worker named Willie Spears to implicate Michael's brother, Geoffrey, in the crime. In exchange for this, Cobb promoted Willie to superintendent of the colliery.

Geoffrey Radcliffe was sent to prison and sentenced to die by hanging for the murder of his brother. On the eve of his execution date, Geoffrey's close friend, Doctor Frank Griffin, visited him in his cell and administered an injection that turned Radcliffe invisible. He was then able to escape from prison and investigate the murder of his brother in order to clear his name.

Hearing the news of Geoffrey's escape probably seemed like good fortune for Richard at first. He was confident that he would be caught and promptly executed. In addition to inheriting all of the Radcliffe family's assets, Richard also cast his eye upon Geoffrey's lover, Helen Manson, who remained steadfastly loyal to her paramour.

As the Invisible Man, Geoffrey Radcliffe turned up clues that inevitably pointed him in Richard's direction. Inspector Samson of Scotland Yard became involved in the matter after Geoffrey escaped from prison and he set up a cordon around Radcliffe Manor. He even placed Richard in police custody.

Geoffrey Radcliffe sneaked into his family estate and accosted Richard. He psychologically tormented him with the fact that Richard couldn't see him, but he was unable to exact his revenge at this time. Police constables armed with smoke machines patrolled the house, and Radcliffe knew that it was only a matter of time before his shape would become visible in the smoke. He retreated from the house, intent on returning to finish the job he started.

When the opportunity arose, Geoffrey made his way back into Radcliffe Manor and sneaked into Richard's bedroom. Pointing a gun in his back, he instructed him to leave the house and dismiss the armed guards. He herded Richard into his car where he then forced him to drive to the cottage home of his co-conspirator, Willie Spears. Richard found that Geoffrey had secured Willie to a noose, awaiting to be hanged. In a desperate move, Richard fought back. He knocked out the lights in the house, plunging the room into darkness citing that they were now on an even playing ground. During the scuffle, the surface holding Spears aloft was swept away and the noose snapped, breaking his neck.

Richard fled from the house and raced through the streets back towards the colliery. The invisible Geoffrey Radcliffe gave chase, knocking down various pedestrians who got in his way. When he reached the outside of the colliery, Richard scaled one of the escalator structures that were drawing the mining cars up onto a trestle railway. The Invisible Man doggedly pursued him and the two fought one another atop a moving mining car. Witnesses, police officers and other workers converged on the scene to watch Richard Cobb desperately struggling against some unseen attacker. Inspector Sampson, aware that Radcliffe was invisible, took a lucky shot with his revolver, injuring him, and forcing Radcliffe to vacate the scene. Unfortunately for Richard, he was unable to pull himself out of the coal car in time and it dumped off the side of the structure. Richard fell to his doom. Before dying, he confessed to Helen Manson that he had murdered Michael Radcliffe. [2]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Date approximated based upon the age of actor Cedric Hardwicke.
  2. Invisible Man Returns, The (1940)

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