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Actor-director Richard Attenborough dies at 90

LONDON (AP) - Acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, has died. He was 90.

The actor's son, Michael Attenborough told the BBC that his father died Sunday. He had been in poor health for some time.

Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement calling Attenborough "one of the greats of cinema."

"His acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," Cameron said.

Attenborough won an Academy Award for best director with "Gandhi" in 1982, only one of many highlights of a distinguished career as actor and director.

With his abundant snow-white hair and beard, Attenborough was one of the most familiar faces on the British arts scene - universally known as "Dickie."

He appeared in a many major Hollywood films, directed a series of movies and was known for his extensive work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and other humanitarian causes.

As a director, Attenborough made several successful movies, from "Oh What a Lovely War" in 1969 to "Chaplin" and "Shadowlands" in the 1990s. But his greatest success was "Gandhi," a film that was 20 years in the planning and won eight Oscars, including best picture.

The generation that was introduced to Attenborough as an avuncular veteran actor in the 1990s - when he played the failed theme park developer in "Jurassic Park" and Kriss Kringle in a remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" - may not have appreciated his dramatic range.

A small, energetic man with a round face that remained boyish even in old age, he was perfectly cast at the start of his career as the young sailor or airman of British movies during and after World War II.

In his 1942 film debut as a terrified warship's crewman in "In Which We Serve," a 19-year-old Attenborough made a small part into one of the most memorable roles in the movie, which won the Best Picture Oscar.

In 1947, Attenborough gave one of the best performances of his career as the menacing teenage thug Pinkie in "Brighton Rock," the film version of Graham Greene's novel.

He is survived by his wife, Sheila Sim, their son and a daughter.

Actor-Director Richard Attenborough Dies At 90

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carolctodd August 24 2014 at 6:49 PM

Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

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thaddeus carolctodd August 24 2014 at 7:08 PM

what a great comment. God be with you! thad freeman

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RANDY August 24 2014 at 6:13 PM

RIP You were one of the great one's.

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1 reply
Brutal RANDY August 24 2014 at 7:22 PM

Yes he was. He will be missed.

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Practical Nomad August 24 2014 at 7:19 PM

RIP Dickie. What a terrific Actor and Director. He will be deeply missed, in both America and England.

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trfyol August 24 2014 at 7:00 PM

"Ghandi" a tour-de-force second only to Ghandi himself as a cry for reason and peace in the affairs of humankind... a blessing yet to be measured... if ever.

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tpart August 24 2014 at 7:52 PM

My condolences to the family What a beautiful man he was

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lov2elkhnt August 24 2014 at 7:04 PM

This tough mn worked and fought to present life on film that none of the world would ever know outside of their busy life. Learning from books and picture is one thing but this guy and the people he put around his projects were top shelf excellent. I and my family are thankful for him showing the wonder of life around this world. This one great man is in my mind so very important for the work he did. His loss is the world's loss. Rest easy Sir Richard, your amazing and made a solid incredible impact on humanity.

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panhermes lov2elkhnt August 24 2014 at 9:44 PM

Nice comments and quite interesting excepting it seems you may have Sir Richard confused with Sir David, his brother. Not unusual they were much alike. Sir Richard was the actor director, Sir David produces wonderful nature films mostly for TV for which he also provides the narrative. Sir Richard is fully deserving of you and your families praise for his film work, most extraordinarily direction of Ghandi.

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lov2elkhnt panhermes August 24 2014 at 11:36 PM

Yup, your right and I'm the time less honored horse's ass idiot who sure shot hell out of the wrong target once more. It's David that is the naturalist and major league educater indeed. Dickie was in fact the prolific actor/director/producer and has mant great chievements too but not like his 2 years younder bro David who brought the world's life into each home to inspire and rethink what in hell we are doing to earth and why we should grow up enough to save it for something beyond our own endulgence and cushy ease of life at the expense of future life including humanity. I'm not an environmentalist but I do live different due to David's influences.

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elz417 August 24 2014 at 7:11 PM

RIP. A truly great actor.

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songbirdgray August 24 2014 at 6:27 PM


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jmslotnick August 24 2014 at 7:20 PM

Jurassic Park will never be the same. Just watched this man the other day in the remake of Miracle on 34th St, and what a fine and diverse actor/director he was. He and those of his generation will be missed as there are none like them anymore.
Sympathies to his family. RIP Richard Attenborough.

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vincentpricehowell August 24 2014 at 6:59 PM

Rest in piece Big X!

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