I always thought of Richard as the guy you'd get for a villain if Anthony Zerbe was unavailable. Lynch's bad guys were great, because he'd play them big. I first remember seeing him in an early 70s R-rated sex and violence film called Open Season
with Peter Fonda and Cornelia Sharpe, a variation on the story "The Most Dangerous Game". Just to be clear, he's the big bad guy.
ETA: Checking IMDB, that was his 3rd film, in 1974. I also saw his first two films, both released in 1973, Scarecrow
and The Seven-Ups.