Fast Facts

  • Was a sickly child whose multiple ailments kept him from completing school.
  • His stepfather, Harry Graves, bought him his first drum kit.
  • Before joining the Beatles in August 1962—and replacing drummer Pete Best, a move unpopular with many fans—he was well-known in Liverpool music circles, but left Rory Storm & the Hurricanes when he was invited to become a member of the Fab Four.
  • Although officially a member of the band, did not play drums on early Beatles hits "Love Me Do" and its B-side, "P.S. I Love You;" instead, played tambourine on the former and maracas on the latter, while the drums were manned by Andy White.
  • Disappointed by the increasing tension within the band during the recording of The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) in 1968, he temporarily quit the group and spent time on actor Peter Sellers' yacht in the Mediterranean, where he wrote the song "Octopus's Garden."
  • Made film directorial debut with Born to Boogie (1972), a concert film about glam-rock band T. Rex.
  • In 1989, received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for his role as Mr. Conductor in the children's series Shining Time Station.
  • The oldest Beatle, he also became the group's first grandfather when son Zak's daughter, Tatia Jayne, was born in 1985.
  • Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Beatles in 1988, but is the only member of the group not enrolled as a solo artist.


  • 1972, Grammy — Album of the Year: Winner
  • 1964, Grammy — Best New Artist: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Best Music Video - Short Form: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Best Music Video - Long Form: Winner
  • 1964, Grammy — Best Performance By A Vocal Group: Winner
  • 1970, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song Score): Winner
  • 1967, Grammy — Best Contemporary Album: Winner
  • 1965, BAFTA Film Awards — Most Promising Newcomer to Film: Nominee
  • 1967, Grammy — Album of the Year: Winner
  • 1970, Grammy — Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner


  • Richard Starkey — Father
  • Harry Graves — Stepfather
  • Jason Starkey — Son
  • Barbara Bach — Wife
  • Zak Starkey — Son
  • Elsie Gleave — Mother
  • Maureen Cox Starkey — Ex-wife
  • Lee Starkey — Daughter


  • Birth Name: Richard Starkey Jr.
  • Birth Place: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • Birthday: July 7, 1940, Cancer
  • Profession: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Director, Actor

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