He was born in Greenock and did National Service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in Singapore. He worked as a research scientist in Glasgow. He took up acting at the age of 27. He trained at RADA and then appeared in repertory theatres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. He played Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave from 1990 to 2000. From 2008 to 2012 he played the court physician Gaius in the TV series Merlin.
Wilson has been a campaigner for gay rights for many years and came out officially as gay in a Daily Mail interview in March 2013
He was listed number 80 in the Pride Power List 2011.
- J Roose-Evans, One Foot on the Stage: The Biography of Richard Wilson
- 1st March 2013 dailymail.co.uk