Director and actor Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90. An acclaimed performer who seamlessly segued from working in front of the camera to behind it, Attenborough earned two Oscars for his illuminating biopic Gandhi, for Best Picture and Best Director at the 1983 ceremony.
That victory came after a long and fruitful career in cinema for Attenborough, which began with an uncredited role as a deserting sailor in 1942 pic In Which We Serve. The British actor’s breakthrough role came five years later, in John Boulting’s adaptation of the Graham Greene novel Brighton Rock. From there, Attenborough’s star continued to climb. He would go on to work prolifically in British cinema, appearing in many comedies including Private’s Progress and I’m All Right Jack. Attenborough also succeeded on the stage, leading the West End production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for a time.
The actor’s part in 1963’s The Great Escape, in which he played a squadron leader, helped him to break into Hollywood after decades of stardom contained to Great Britain. His roles in the next year’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and Guns at Batasi would earn him a BAFTA Film Award for Best British Actor – additional BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars would follow.
Attenborough’s acclaimed, lengthy career continued for decades, though he wouldn’t take on his best known role – as scientist John Hammond in Jurassic Park and its sequel – until 1993. Before that, he proved his mettle as a director as well. In 1969, he made his helming debut on Oh! What A Lovely War. Attenborough would go on to direct A Bridge Too Far, A Chorus Line, Cry Freedom, Chaplin, Shadowlands and more.
The director and actor retired from filmmaking years ago and made no secret of his declining health. Though we mourn his death, Richard Attenborough certainly left a huge, unforgettable impact on cinema. He will be sorely missed, and his contributions to the world of moviemaking shall be forever cherished.
Source: BBC News