Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

UK: Film legend Richard Attenborough dies at 90

08:21 25 August 2014

Film director Lord Attenborough after receiving his Help the Aged National Provident Institution Hall of Fame Golden Award.

Film director Lord Attenborough after receiving his Help the Aged National Provident Institution Hall of Fame Golden Award.

Tributes have poured in for esteemed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, who dominated the British film business for more than half a century.

shares
Brothers Sir David (left) and Lord Richard Attenborough at Leicester University, where they spent their childhoods, after receiving a top academic honour at De Montfart Hall.Brothers Sir David (left) and Lord Richard Attenborough at Leicester University, where they spent their childhoods, after receiving a top academic honour at De Montfart Hall.

Lord Attenborough, who moved to a care home in 2008, died at lunchtime yesterday aged 90, his son Michael told the BBC.

BAFTA described its former president as a “titan of British cinema” who set an example of “industry, skill and compassion” that business would do well to live up to.

Born in Cambridge in 1923, he championed the British film industry through its triumphs and trials, enjoying success as one of Britain’s leading actors before becoming a celebrated director and prolific movie-maker.

In a statement the film academy added: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of esteemed filmmaker and former BAFTA president, Lord Attenborough Kt, CBE, whose passionate support of BAFTA for more than 50 years was integral to who we are today. He will be sorely missed.

Richard Attenborough with the Princess of Wales in 1997. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA WireRichard Attenborough with the Princess of Wales in 1997. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

“A titan of British cinema, to say he embodied its finest qualities is to have it backwards. British film would do well to live up to the example of industry, skill and compassion set by Richard, Lord Attenborough.”

His career highlights included appearing in 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park and clinching eight Oscars for 1982 film Gandhi, including best film and best director.

As an actor he was respected enough for top directors Satyajit Ray and Steven Spielberg to lure him out of self-imposed retirement to appear respectively in The Chess Players and Jurassic Park.

He has been praised by fellow actors and politicians alike, as well as by his beloved Chelsea Football club.

Prime Minister David Cameron was among the first to pay tribute to Lord Attenborough in a statement which read: “His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.”

A Labour Party spokesman recognised the “enormous contribution” he made to the country, which included his passion for social justice.

He said: “Lord Attenborough made an enormous contribution to our country and to the film industry both as an actor and a director. His films will be loved for generations to come.

“He believed passionately in social justice and the Labour Party and was a vocal campaigner against apartheid.

“He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Chelsea Football Club said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of the actor and would “always be grateful” that the club was close to his heart.

A statement said: “His personality was woven into the tapestry of the club over seven decades. He was a consistent force for good at the club, even in dark times.

“Lord A was a thoroughly lovely and talented man who used his fame and influence for the good of the many causes close to his heart. We will always be grateful that our football club was one of them.

“He will be greatly missed, and the thoughts of everyone at Chelsea FC are with his family and friends at this sad time.”

Lord Attenborough married the actress Sheila Sim when he was 21. His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by two daughters, Jane and Charlotte.

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

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

Lord Attenborough struck up a friendship with Diana, Princess of Wales, after the Prince of Wales asked him to help her write speeches.

He was the older brother of TV wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough.

Actors including Mia Farrow, Sir Roger Moore and Samantha Bond were quick to praise the supremely-talented film legend, a star of both in front and behind the camera.

Actress Farrow tweeted: “Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP ‘Pa’ - and thank you”

Sir Roger added: “Greatly saddened to hear the great Richard Attenborough has left us. Such a wonderful and talented man.”

Bond described him as a “great actor, great director, - funny, flirtatious, intelligent, a true gentleman.”

Lord Attenborough was also responsible for launching the children’s charity Help A London Child.

shares

1 comment

  • I was lucky enough to see & hear Richard Attenborough give a lively and funny talk at the National Theatre in 2008, then met him at a subsequent book signing event. He was friendly, patient and obliging towards everyone in a big and demanding crowd. A true gentleman. RIP.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Monday, August 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Mick McCarthy, Manager of Ipswich Town shouts instructions Bristol City v Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is as frustrated and agitated as supporters after this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-battling Bristol City made it four losses from five games in all competitions.

The Belstead House in Pinweood, Ipswich.

Frustrated councillors who object to plans to build 155 homes in their parish are threatening legal action against planners.

Former Met police officer Colin Sutton with his dog Jasper

Many might describe Colin Sutton as a ‘proper copper’ - the sort with blue blood running through his family’s veins.

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

A file  picture of the A14.

A man was taken to hospital after he came off the motorcycle he was riding.

Ellen and her family

There is a nasty rumour going round the playground, writes Ellen Widdup.

A file picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters were called to a home in Springfield Road in the early hours.

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24