Famed Hollywood actor, director, and producer, Richard Attenborough has passed away at 90 years old. Attenborough’s son, Michael Attenborough, announced to the BBC that his father died on Sunday after his health had been declining. Attenborough, who was born in Cambridge, England, began his film career in 1942 and by 1949 he was already Britain’s 6th most popular actor at the box office. While Attenborough continued to act in British film productions for the next 30 years, he is best known to American audiences for his role as as John Hammond in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film, Jurassic Park, which was his first on screen appearance since 1979’s The Human Factor. Attenborough’s character, Hammond, was a quirky engineer and grandfather whose company, InGen, created the dinosaur themed Jurassic Park. In 1994 Attenborough starred as Kris Kringle in the remake of the popular 1947 film, Miracle On 34th Street where he was able to win over the hearts of viewers both young and old as their beloved Santa Claus.
While Attenborough acted in more than 60 films throughout his career, to some he is equally as well known for his skills as a director and producer; in 1983 he won the Academy Award for best director in the film, Ghandi, which also won the award for best picture. The creating of the film was a 20 year project for Attenborough, who struggled to raise the money to produce the film because many Hollywood producers were reluctant to invest, one even stating that he doesn’t believe there would be much interest in a film on “a little brown man in a sheet carrying a bean stalk;” however, this film rendition of Ghandi’s life is viewed as Attenborough’s greatest work and is now considered a classic.
Fans of Attenborough’s work have taken to social media to share their condolences for this multi-talented man with one Twitter user tweeting, “Richard Attenborough – a long life well lived and a body of work that will last forever.” Of his filmmaking abilities, Attenborough once said, “I have no interest in being remembered as a great creative filmmaker,I want to be remembered as a storyteller-” and it appears that Sir Attenborough will be remembered as just that.
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