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Richard Attenborough‘s death at the age of 90 has led to a flurry of tributes from stars from around the world.
Known affectionately as “Dickie,” the multiple-award-winning British actor, director and producer worked in the film business for more than half a century, and in that time touched the lives of many in Hollywood, Britain and around the world with his talent, his warmth and his generosity.
Attenborough the actor won a BAFTA Award in 1964, unusually for two different films — Guns at Batasi and Seance on a Wet Afternoon. Attenborough also won two Golden Globes for his acting in The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Dr. Dolittle (1967). As a director, Attenborough found much success with his 1982 biopic Gandhi that scored him a clean sweep of the BAFTA, the Golden Globe and the Oscar for best director in that year.
Away from film, Attenborough, whose younger brother is naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, was a tireless campaigner for worthy causes. Attenborough was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a notable campaigner against apartheid in South Africa. Attenborough also held a number of executive and administrative roles, including president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and life president of his beloved Chelsea Football Club.
Actor Sir Ben Kingsley, who played Gandhi and took home the best actor award in 1982, said he would miss Attenborough dearly. In a statement to the media, Kingsley said, “Richard Attenborough trusted me with the crucial and central task of bringing to life a dream it took him 20 years to bring to fruition. When he gave me the part of Gandhi it was with great grace and joy. He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him.”
Steven Spielberg who worked with Attenborough on Jurassic Park, said in a statement: “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.”
Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay released a statement saying: “Lord Richard’s immense contribution to the film industry has few parallels. As a director, actor and producer, he dedicated his lifetime to the arts, entertaining us from both behind and in front of the camera. As a director he took on passion projects, many of which were biographical, highlighting individuals who lived extraordinary lives, dedicated to a particular passion — much like Richard himself. A winner of the 1982 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for the biographical Gandhi, Richard was a true master filmmaker, embodying the alchemy necessary to turn film into art. He will be greatly missed.”
Other stars and organizations have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Attenborough.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of esteemed filmmaker and former BAFTA President Lord Attenborough: http://t.co/XnsDng7tnr
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) August 24, 2014
How I will remember Richard Attenborough: http://t.co/KkfYzVgC4v
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) August 24, 2014
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Attenborough. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador he was a tireless advocate for children
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) August 25, 2014
“I believe we need heroes…we need certain people who we can measure our own shortcomings by.” – Richard Attenborough
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 24, 2014
RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 24, 2014
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) August 24, 2014
His acting in “Brighton Rock” was brilliant, his directing of “Gandhi” was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 24, 2014
Greatly saddened to hear the great Richard Attenborough has left us. Such a wonderful and talented man.
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) August 24, 2014
Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP ‘Pa’ – and thank you
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 24, 2014
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) August 24, 2014
If you only know the cuddly Attenborough in Jurassic Park, see him be just terrifying in Brighton Rock & 10 Rillington Place. Amazing actor.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 24, 2014
Richard Attenborough as Pinkie in ‘Brighton Rock’ from 1947. One of the greatest film performances of all time. https://t.co/kOH4GslOYc
— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) August 24, 2014
From ‘Gandhi’ to ‘Cry Freedom’ + his hatred for apartheid – the magnificent Sir Richard Attenborough has passed away. pic.twitter.com/CHtoUtZVVN
— Martin Bashir (@MartinBashir) August 24, 2014
— Dylan McDermott (@DylanMcDermott) August 24, 2014
Sir Richard Attenborough was the only Santa Claus I ever believed in. A wonderful man. Still in shock right now. May he rest in peace.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) August 24, 2014
— Elizabeth Perkins (@Elizbethperkins) August 24, 2014
Sad to hear of Dickie Attenborogh. Family secret – he was Richard and David Dave. True story. He did so so much in so many arenas.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) August 24, 2014
A true legend : Richard Attenborough has passed away ! RIP Sir ….
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) August 24, 2014
Dear dear Dickie: a true legend of the screen and a delightful man. Very sad news. RIP. #RichardAttenborough
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 24, 2014
Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I’ve ever met. I’ll miss him.
— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) August 24, 2014
Richard Attenborough was a true friend to my Grandfather and a kind, kind man. RIP. #legend
— Jonny Lee Miller (@jonnyjlm) August 25, 2014
RIP Lord Richard Attenborough our dear friend from the Jurassic period. http://t.co/ZWFTVfzEnM
— ILM Visual Effects (@ILMVFX) August 25, 2014
Beautiful memories of #RichardAttenborough as Lord Cecil in Elizabeth. Amazing director. Amazing actor to work with. Amazing human being.
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) August 25, 2014
Aug. 24, 8:10 p.m. Updated with additional statement from Directors Guild of America.
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