Richard Samuel Attenborough, or better known as The Lord Attenborough, was a prevalent figure in the film industry. He was an English actor as well as an established film director and producer. During his lifetime, he achieved two Academy Awards for Gandhi, four Golden Globe Awards, and four British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
He served as the president of the BAFTA for seven years since 2002. In addition he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, a drama school in London, where he nurtured the dreams of many aspiring young actors and actresses on their way to becoming theatre and film stars.
British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill issued the following statement on Monday:
“The world has lost a very, very special person. Dickie was multi-talented as an actor, producer and world-class film director, but he was also a warm, compassionate and empathetic man and a friend to all those who met him. He loved the art and culture of film and was a tremendous advocate for every part of it, not least for the BFI where he was chair for 13 years, as well as for the British film industry, playing a major part in enabling it to attain and hold the position it has today as a world-leader. His support for individuals whether they were starting out in the industry or accomplished professionals such as himself, knew no bounds and his legacy will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come. We are all saddened.”
Attenborough died in his nursing home, just a few days before his 91st birthday. According to Deadline, Attenborough was having health issues before he decided to sell “his beloved estate and [move] into a nursing home in 2013 to be near his wife, Sheila, whom he married in 1945.” He had a huge heart for everyone he worked with throughout his film career and left a big impression on many famous celebrities, including Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg, who directed Attenborough in Jurassic Park, also issued a fond statement:
“Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life. Family, friends, his 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.”
Jurassic Park was a classic film for many young children growing up in the 90’s. Attenborough played the role of John Hammond, the man creating Jurassic Park by reconstructing Dinosaurs from DNA. The movie created a visual interpretation of what living amongst dinosaurs would of felt like during the Age of Reptiles, the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, and excited the imagination of many kids.
BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry and Chair Anne Morrison issued the following statement:
“Lord Attenborough was intimately involved with the Academy for over 50 years. He believed in it passionately, supported it tirelessly and was integral to the organization that BAFTA has become today. Lord Attenborough occupies a special place in the hearts of so many and will be missed enormously. Our thoughts are with his family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this sad and difficult time.”
Lord Attenborough lives on through his wife Sheila Sim and their three children, as well as his brother, Sir David Attenborough.
Lord Attenborough has fallen. Check out a gallery featuring his lifetime achievements.