One of the true giants of British cinema, Richard Attenborough has died just 5 days short of what would have been his 91st birthday. He passed away on Sunday morning, in the nursing home where he has lived with his wife Sheila Sim, for several years. A giant of the screen for over 70 years he starred in the hugely successful “Brighton Rock” as long ago as 1947, making his screen debut in “In which we serve” five years earlier.
Always the gentleman, he was held in enormous regard by his peers and the general public. Later as a director and producer he won two academy awards for “Ghandi” and international praise for his sensitive handling of the Steven Biko story in “Cry Freedom” He went on to direct “Shadowlands” the story of the relationship between CS Lewis and Joy Gresham and The highly acclaimed “Chaplin” with Robert Downey Jnr.
Nobody of our generation will ever forget the Jurassic Park franchise and he will be forever etched onto generations people’s minds, as the deluded scientist on a mission. But in a much more sinister role he put in an unforgettable performance as the serial killer John Christie, in “10 Rillington Place”
He gathered honours throughout his life, A CBE in 1967, a Knighthood in 1976 and in 1993 was made a life peer. Lord Attenborough was the elder brother of the internationally renown naturalist Sir David Attenborough, 4 years his junior. His awards from the world of theatre and cinema are simply too many to list here.