Richard Attenborough Left More Than an Acting Legacy

Richard Attenborough Left More Than an Acting Legacy

Richard Attenborough, the British film legend who was much loved and highly regarded by both the public and his counterparts, passed away on Sunday, Aug 24, aged 90.

Aside from being a world-renowned actor, director and producer, he was also a member of the House of Lords, and a tireless contributor to charitable causes.

In a statement, his son announced that he died at lunchtime. Over his 60 year long career he was a force behind political scenes as well as movie scenes, meeting with every major figure that could benefit creatives, from Margaret Thatcher to John Major.

‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of esteemed filmmaker and former BAFTA President Lord Attenborough,’ the organisation wrote on Twitter.

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge in 1923 and championed the British film industry through its victories and trials for more than 60 years. His most famous films included ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Brighton Rock’.

Educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester, he then went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), of which he later became president.  Away from films he held a vast number of positions, most notably as chairman of Channel 4 for six years from 1987.

‘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’ says Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg.

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough once said he hoped to make films until he died. “On my last day of shooting, I’d be happy to say: ‘Cut, it’s a wrap’ and fall off the twig.”

‘He always made me feel as if I was “family” and was continuously supportive and encouraging. When Ann Skinner, another lifelong friend of his, and I, were making our first film and the money fell apart he dropped everything – he was in the middle of editing Ghandi – to help us’ says Simon Relph CBE.

His later films as director included Chaplin, an adaptation of the stage play treating the relationship between Narnia author CS Lewis and Joy Gresham.

He made a huge contribution to the film industry both as an actor and as a director. His films will surely be loved for many generations to come.

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