Richard Compton was born on March 2, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began his career in the early 60s making movies for the United States Information Agency. His debut feature, The French Way, was never released in America. Compton followed this film with the biker flick Angels Die Hard, which was the first movie to be released by Roger Corman's New World Pictures.
Richard was married to actress Veronica Cartwright. He died at age 69 on August 11, 2007.