Actor and director Richard Attenborough dies aged 90

Oscar-winning British film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90, his son has said.

Lord Attenborough was one of Britain’s leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director.

In a career that spanned six decades, he appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War Two prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

As a director he was perhaps best known for Gandhi, which won him two Oscars.

Sir Ben Kingsley, who played the title role, said he would “miss him dearly”.

“Richard Attenborough trusted me with the crucial and central task of bringing to life a dream it took him 20 years to bring to fruition.

“When he gave me the part of Gandhi it was with great grace and joy. He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him.”

Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg said Lord Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life.

“He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic Gandhi and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in Jurassic Park,” he said.

“He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.”

Lord Attenborough had been in a nursing home with his wife for a number of years.

He had also been in a wheelchair since falling down stairs six years ago.

Along with his naturalist brother David, Lord Attenborough was one of Britain’s best-known screen celebrities.

Born in Cambridge in 1923, he started acting at the age of just 12, making his professional stage debut aged 18.

He was appointed a CBE in 1967 and knighted nine years later in 1976, before being made a life peer in 1993.

He married his wife, actress Sheila Sim, in 1945. His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by two daughters, Jane and Charlotte.

Michael is a theatre director and former artistic director of the Almeida Theatre in Islington, north London, and Charlotte is an actress.

His family faced tragedy in 2004 when his elder daughter Jane Holland, her daughter, Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, were killed in the south Asian tsunami on Boxing Day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s