Richardson was born on 7 April 1934 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was raised in Balgreen, Edinburgh. Richardson studied at Balgreen Primary School, at Tynecastle High School, at the George Heriot's School, and at the College of Dramatic Arts. He was married to Maroussia Frank from 1961 until his death in 2007. They had a son, Miles. Richardson died on 9 February 2007 in London, England from a heart attack, aged 72.
- Blackley, Michael (9 February 2007). "Acting Star Ian Richardson Dies". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 April 2007.
- "House of Cards actor Ian Richardson dies in his sleep". Daily Mail. London. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
- Ian Richardson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Ian Richardson on IMDb
- Interview with Ian Richardson at the Theatre Archive Project
- Ian Richardson's performances in the Theatre Archive, University of Bristol
- The Guardian – Actor Ian Richardson dies
- The Guardian – obituary
- BBC – Obituary: Ian Richardson
- Ian Richardson Tribute