Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 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

The scene of an accident on the A1088 at Honington.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has insisted a new roads policing unit “will happen”, as a fatal road accident in Honington yesterday claimed the life of another driver.

Oakwood School in Stowmarket.

More than 70 former pupils of a Suffolk school embroiled in abuse allegations complained to police of physical mistreatment by staff in 1997, it has emerged.

Bury St Edmunds photographer Tom Murray with Cilla Black at a private viewing of his London exhibition of his Beatles images.

He has spent time with many celebrities during his career, but for Beatles photographer Tom Murray, Cilla Black had “true star quality”.

The A1088 closed at Honington following an accident.

Community leaders have expressed their sympathies following the latest fatal crash on Suffolk’s roads.

Broadband boost

Suffolk is to get an extra £3.9million to boost the county’s attempt to bring broadband to more properties as the current scheme has been more successful than anticipated.

Erica Burrows, Alan Gilbert, Nicola Johnson and Fiona wright campaign to get Christchurch park and mansion voted greatest place in England.

Two of Suffolk’s largest and most historic towns are going head to head in a battle to be named one of England’s Great Places by a national body.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A 60-year-old man is due to appear in court this morning charged with three driving offences.

Can you spot him? Andrew Hawes in the camouflage gear he plans to use to catch people not clearing up after their dogs.

Dog walkers who fail to clean up after their pets could find their photos appearing on the internet.

Les Munro while visiting the Bomber Command Memorial in London. Credit: RAFBF/Adrian Brooks/Imagewise.

The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, has died in New Zealand, aged 96.

Orwell Bridge

Police have said that a man who died after apparently falling from the Orwell Bridge was from the Halesworth area.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages