Legend of cinema directed the Oscar-winning 'Gandhi' and starred in 'Jurassic Park'
Filmmaker Richard Attenborough has died, aged 90. The Oscar-winning director of Gandhi was best known in recent years for his role as park creator John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
His son told BBC News the veteran of almost 100 films died at his home on Sunday after a long battle with illness.
Born in 1923 the young Attenborough found fame as an actor playing the gangster Pinkie Brown in the 1947 film adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock. He went on to star alongside Steve McQueen in The Great Escape and later in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet.
Attenborough’s directing career began with the 1969 musical satire Oh! What A Lovely War and reached a peak in 1982 with the Oscar-winning tale of inspiring civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi played by Ben Kingsley (pictured).
Attenborough also directed the star-studded 1977 war movie A Bridge Too Far featuring Sean Connery, Richard Burton and Robert Redford. His Charlie Chaplin biopic Chaplin (1993) helped make a star of Robert Downey Jr who was Oscar-nominated for his portrayal of the silent movie icon.
Lord Attenborough was awarded a life peerage by the Queen in 1993 for his work on stage and screen. “I have no interest in being remembered as a great creative filmmaker,” he once said. “I want to be remembered as a storyteller.”
Former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore took to Twitter to lead the tributes: “Greatly saddened to hear the great Richard Attenborough has left us. Such a wonderful and talented man.”
Ricky Gervais tweeted: “RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen.”
Steven Spielberg issued a statement that read: “Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life – family, friends, country and career. 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 was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.”
Stephen Fry wrote: “Sad to hear of Dickie Attenborough … He did so so much in so many arenas.”
He is survived by his brother, the wildlife documentary filmmaker Sir David Attenborough.
Watch Attenborough in Jurassic Park in the clip below.