|Full name||Matthew John|
|Born||October 6, 1968 (aged 52), Newhaven|
|Spouse||Jennifer 'Jenny' Graham (since 1990)|
|Children||Dean Richards (born 1991)|
John Richards (born 1993)
|Parents||Henry J. Richards (born 1942)|
Lana C Scott (born 1945)
Matthew John "Matt" Richards is an American-Lovian actor, filmmaker, author, businessman and politician who co-starred in the Cops series as Connor Johnson. He was born in 1968 in Newhaven to a middle-class Roman Catholic family who continue to reside in Noble City.
According to many people, Richards met William Harris on the set of Cops I, but this is not true. Richards actually met him in the late 1980s in university. He became an actor in 1997 when he auditioned for Cops and has enjoyed a modest acting career ever since in addition to numerous business ventures. He is also the author of the popular novel, Kings' Peak - Avalanche, which was adapted into a feature film in November 2012.
Richards lives with his wife in a large property about 6 miles outside of Newhaven. From 2009 until its disbandment in 2013 he was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Richards was born in Newhaven on October 6, 1968 to businessman and banker Henry Richards (1942-1999) and his wife Lana Charlene Richards (née Scott) (June 11, 1945-), a television journalist. Richards' father is first-generation Lovian of American and Canadian descent, while Lana is American-born of Scottish and German ancestry. Richards' mother was born in San Francisco, California but moved to Lovia in 1965 for university at the height of the counterculture era and eventually settled in Newhaven after her studies. Henry and Lana met at a New Year's Eve party in late 1966 and married in June 1967; Matt was their eldest child, followed by Robert Vincent ("Rob") in 1970 and Tabitha Lane in 1973. His name comes from John Richards and Matthew Scott, his paternal and maternal grandfathers respectively.
The Richards moved to Noble City in 1972 after Henry was transferred in his job at the National Bank of Lovia; the family settled down quickly and became fixtures of the local community. Here Matt attended J.W. Pennington Primary School from 1974 to 1980, later being joined by his two younger siblings. Over the course of his studies Matt consistently attained high grades and was noted to be an "academically excellent student" by teachers. He attended King Arthur II College from 1980 to 1986 and was a star soccer player, using his well-built stature and imposing height of 6ft 4 (193 cm) to his advantage in that and several other sports. His potential soccer career was derailed, however, when a goalpost collapsed onto his right leg at age 15, breaking it to the point where he could not play football for the next three years.
College years and acting career
Richards enrolled at Blackburn University in Newhaven in 1986, where he majored in computer science with a minor in applied mathematics. Although he had no prior interest in acting, in that same year Matt was asked by a friend if he wanted to help out in a student production of Peter Pan but initially declined due to other commitments. With just a few weeks left before the play opened he met fellow student and budding actor William Harris, with whom he initially did not get along. Harris himself tried to persuade Matt to join the cast only to be constantly rebuked, but after several failed attempts at persuasion Matt finally joined the production as Captain Hook. Although he enjoyed the experience Richards did not consider acting seriously until his junior year.
In his first two years of college, he dated Sarah Williams, the woman who would play William Harris' wife in "Cops" (1998), but met his future wife Jennifer Miyazawa Graham in 1987, a young psychology student from Artista. In 1988 Richards took up dramatic arts as a hobby, learning all the tricks of the trade from the Newhaven Actors' Studio while also expressing an interest in directing. In 1989 he was discovered by an agent and cast as a background extra in Black Ops IV: Jungle Madness.
Following graduation in 1991 Richards considered emigrating to the United States for work in Silicon Valley but was unable to find employment in the technology industry - instead he found work at his best friend Peter G. Williams' now-defunct startup Techcorp Inc., which specialized in the import of foreign electronic goods for the Lovian market. With a steady flow of income through Techcorp Richards bought a home in suburban Newhaven and started a family with Graham. In 1997 he was cast in as Connor Johnson for the 1998 action comedy Cops, which starred William Harris, as well as ex-girlfriend Sarah Williams; although starring relative unknowns Cops became a box-office success for production company Transbaum Films, grossing $3.2 million at the national box office and catapulting its stars to fame.
Aside from appearing in other projects over the years Matt has produced and co-written the 2012 disaster film Kings' Peak and directed a "reimagined version" of the 1980s action franchise Black Ops; the remake was a box-office success and received mixed-to-positive reviews but was derided by hardcore fans of the original film series to the point where it was retconned from the series canon.
Matt's first girlfriend was Sarah Williams, the sister of Peter G. Williams, who passed the title of CEO of Techcorp to Richards prior to his death from cancer in 1997; overwhelmed by the loss of his friend and feeling unable to run the business in the wake of his passing Richards sold the company once his acting career took off.
Richards married his university sweetheart and Japanese-Lovian psychologist Jennifer Miyazawa Graham in 1990 - their first son, Dean was born in 1991, while their other children, John and Joanne were born in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Dean is the lead guitarist for Newhaven-based indie band The Misfits, while Joanne is an aspiring actress who also plays keyboards and sings for various local groups; John, by contrast, maintains a rather low profile and intends to open a small business.
Richards considers himself an "avowed" atheist and has center-left political leanings; he was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party from 2009 until its disbandment in 2013 but has not joined its successor party, the Conservative Nationalist Party. Richards and fellow Cops star William Harris have notably both campaigned for the federal legalization of marijuana in Lovia, having smoked recreationally while attending Blackburn University and filming the Cops series. Although the drug remains illegal under federal law it has since been decriminalized in most states and legalized outright in Kings in no small part due to their efforts. Richards even claims that the more “ridiculous” scenes in the series were entirely unscripted and the result of consuming large amounts of marijuana prior to filming.
Richards is a great supporter of his hometown's soccer team, the Newhaven Rockets and frequently attends their matches.
- Black Ops IV: Jungle Madness - background extra
- Cops (1998) - C. Johnson
- Cops II (2004)
- Cops III (2010)
- Cops IV (2012)
- The Fathers (2012) - George Smith
- Kings' Peak (2012) - Soldier
- Black Ops (2013) - John 'Snake' Stewart
- Cops (television series) (2014-unknown) - Johnson