News

UK film veteran Richard Attenborough dead at 90

UK film veteran Richard Attenborough dead at 90

REMEMBERING RICHARD: Attenborough died at age 90 after a remarkable career both in front of, and behind the camera. Photo: Associated Press

By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes on Monday for actor and director Richard Attenborough who died aged 90 after a career in the film industry spanning over six decades.

Attenborough died on Sunday. His agent described him as a “truly great man of both the cinema and the arts” and tributes poured in from the worlds of entertainment, sports and politics.

One of Attenborough’s greatest achievements was making the cinematic tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in 1982 with the $22 million epic “Gandhi” winning eight Academy Awards including a best director Oscar for Attenborough.

He also won acting fame for a list of movies including playing a theme park owner in “Jurassic Park”, Kris Kringle in the 1994 Christmas fantasy film “Miracle on 34th Street”, and Big X in “The Great Escape.”

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Deaths

Cameron said Attenborough’s acting in the 1947 film “Brighton Rock”, in which he played psychopathic teenager Pinkie Brown, was brilliant and his directing of “Gandhi” stunning.

“Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema,” Cameron wrote on Twitter.

Attenborough, the elder brother of naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, suffered a stroke in 2008 and used a wheelchair. He had been living in a care home for those in the theatrical profession.

Born on August 29, 1923 in Cambridge, England, Attenborough longed to act from the age of four and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1941. That year he made his stage debut in London’s West End and in 1942 played his first film part in Noel Coward’s “”In Which We Serve.”

He later joined the Royal Air Force, qualifying as a pilot, and in 1944 volunteered for a unit filming over Germany. Attenborough played underdogs and misfits in a string of character roles after World War Two, notably “Brighton Rock”,”Seance on a Wet Afternoon” and “10 Rillington Place”.

TRIBUTE FROM FARROW TO CHELSEA FC

But it was directing of “”Gandhi” that established him as one of Britain’s best-known cinema personalities and won him a string of international awards.

Actress Mia Farrow, who appeared in the 1964 film “Guns at Batasi” with Attenborough, tweeted: “Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP ‘Pa’ – and thank you.”

Fellow British actor Roger Moore tweeted that he was “greatly saddened to hear the great Attenborough had left us. Such a wonderful and talented man”.

SPORT AND BUSINESS

Chelsea Football Club also paid tribute to Attenborough who was life president at the London club which he joined in 1969.

The club said Attenborough helped save the club when the freehold for the lucrative home ground changed hands and many shares were bought by property developers.

Attenborough kept hold of his shares and it eventually helped the club take back control of the freehold.

“He was a consistent force for good at the club, even in dark times,” the club said in a statement.

Attenborough was also a businessman with interests in commercial radio and television in Britain, and a tireless worker for numerous charities.

Part of his share of the profits from “Gandhi” went to organizations like the Save the Children Fund and Gandhi’s own ashrams, or alms houses, in India.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

Recent Headlines

in Sports, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Marshawn Lynch’s Media Day press conference

Fresh
23-overlay5

The Seattle Seahawks running back has a goal for Media Day ... and he makes sure everyone knows it.

in Viral Videos

School announces snow day with ‘Let It Go’ parody

22-overlay5

Who needs robocalls when you can declare school closures through song?

in Music

Imagine Dragons launch sky-high concert contest

Dan Reynolds, of Imagine Dragons, performs at the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

Imagine Dragons have teamed up with Southwest Airlines to give a group of fans a once-in-a-lifetime mile-high experience.

in Sports, Viral Videos, Weird

Marshawn Lynch holds an “awesomer” press conference

Updated
23-overlay4

"You don't feel in beast mode. It feels you."

in Entertainment, Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: History’s most talked about Super Bowl commercials

Updated
This image provided by Snickers actress Betty White in an advertisement for Snickers to air during the 2010 Super Bowl. White has been voted the Entertainer of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

We've rounded up the thirteen most memorable Super Bowl commercials. Which one is your favorite?