Richard Attenborough dies: Film world remembers ‘Gandhi’ director

British actor and director Richard Attenborough, pictured in an undated photo in his office at Capital Radio, London.
(Evening Standard / Getty Images)

As news spread Sunday that Richard Attenborough had died at age 90, the film world responded with remembrances of him as both an “amazing actor” and the Academy Award-winning director behind “Gandhi.”

Though younger generations might know him for his role in “Jurassic Park,” Attenborough also appeared in such films as “Brighton Rock,” “The Great Escape,” “The Sand Pebbles,” “10 Rillington Place,” and “Seance on a Wet Afternoon.”

Writing for the Guardian, critic Peter Bradshaw declared Attenborough’s death “a sad day for the British film industry.” It speaks to the longevity and stature of his career that in 2010 he received a lifetime achievement prize at a ceremony known as the Richard Attenborough film awards.


As a director, Attenborough was best known for 1982’s “Gandhi,” which won him Academy Awards for director and best picture. The film won eight Oscars. He also made 1969’s “Oh! What a Lovely War,” 1985’s “A Chorus Line,” 1987’s “Cry Freedom,” 1992’s “Chaplin” and 1993’s “Shadowlands.”

On Twitter he was remembered Sunday by Mia Farrow, who appeared with Attenborough in 1964’s “Guns at Batasi.” Farrow called him “the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince.” Mara Wilson, who as a child actress starred opposite Attenborough in a 1994 remake of “Miracle on 34th Street,” called him “the only Santa Claus I ever believed in.”

Gilles Jacob, president of the Cannes Film Festival, declared: “Hail to Lord Richard Attenborough, talented actor, famous director of the British cinema and a charming human being.”

While also saluting his lesser-known work, such his direction of 1978’s “Magic” and his acting in 1975’s “Brannigan” as an actor, director Edgar Wright said: “If you only know the cuddly Attenborough in ‘Jurassic Park,’ see him be just terrifying in ‘Brighton Rock’ and ’10 Rillington Place.’ Amazing actor.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement hailing Attenborough as “one of the greats of cinema.”

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