Profile

Richard Attenborough

Actor + Film Director
Male
Born Aug 29, 1923
Hometown City of Cambridge
Died Aug 24, 2014
Death Place London
Political Party Labour Party
Height 5' 7" (170 cm)
Nationality British

Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE is an English actor, film director and producer and entrepreneur. He is the current President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). As a film director and producer, he won two Academy Awards for Gandhi in 1982. He has also won four BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Richard Attenborough.

Timeline

Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Richard Attenborough.

CHILDHOOD

1923 Birth Attenborough was born on 29 August 1923 in Cambridge, the eldest of three sons of Mary Attenborough (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. … Read More

TEENAGE

1939 15 Years Old In September 1939, the Attenboroughs took in two German Jewish refugee girls, Helga and Irene Bejach (aged 9 and 11 respectively), who lived with them in College House and were adopted by the family after the war when it was discovered that their parents had been killed. … Read More
1942 18 Years Old Attenborough's acting career started on stage and he appeared in shows at Leicester's Little Theatre, Dover Street, prior to his going to RADA, where he remained Patron until his death. Attenborough's film career began in 1942 in an uncredited role as a sailor deserting his post under fire in the Noël Coward/David Lean production In Which We Serve (his name and character were accidentally omitted from the original release-print credits), a role which would help to type-cast him for many years as a spiv or coward in films like London Belongs to Me (1948), Morning Departure (1950) and his breakthrough role as Pinkie Brown in John Boulting's film adaptation of Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock (1947), a part that he had previously played to great acclaim at the Garrick Theatre in 1942. In 1949, exhibitors voted him the sixth most popular British actor at the box office.

TWENTIES

1945 21 Years Old 1 More Event
He was the older brother of David Attenborough, a naturalist and broadcaster, and John Attenborough, an executive at Alfa Romeo. He was married to actress Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death. Their daughter and one of their grandchildren were killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
1952 28 Years Old Early in his stage career, Attenborough starred in the West End production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, which went on to become the world's longest running stage production. Both he and his wife were among the original cast members of the production, which opened in 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre and as of 2014 is still running at the St Martins Theatre. … Read More

THIRTIES

1963 39 Years Old In 1963, he appeared alongside Steve McQueen and James Garner in the The Great Escape as RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett ("Big X"), the head of the escape committee, based on the real-life exploits of Roger Bushell. … Read More

FORTIES

1965 41 Years Old In 1965 he played Lew Moran opposite James Stewart in The Flight of the Phoenix and in 1967 and 1968, he won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards in the category of Best Supporting Actor, the first time for The Sand Pebbles, again co-starring Steve McQueen, and the second time for Doctor Dolittle starring Rex Harrison. … Read More

FIFTIES

1977 53 Years Old In 1977, he played the ruthless General Outram, again to great acclaim, in the Indian director Satyajit Ray's period piece The Chess Players. … Read More
1982 58 Years Old He won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Director and as the film's producer, the Academy Award for Best Picture for his historical epic Gandhi and another two Golden Globes, this time for Best Director and Best Foreign Film, for the same film in 1983, a project he had been attempting to get made for 18 years. … Read More

LATE ADULTHOOD

1998 74 Years Old He was elected to the post of Chancellor of the University of Sussex on 20 March 1998, replacing The Duke of Richmond and Gordon. … Read More
After 33 years of dedicated service as President of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign, Attenborough became the charity's Honorary Life President in 2004.
In 2008 he published an informal autobiography entitled Entirely Up to You, Darling in association with his long-standing friend and colleague Diana Hawkins.
2009 85 Years Old In November 2009 Attenborough, in what he called a "house clearance" sale, sold part of his extensive art collection, which included works by L. S. Lowry, Christopher R. W. Nevinson and Graham Sutherland, generating £4.6 million at Sotheby's.
2011 87 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 2011, he sold his Rhubodach estate on the Scottish Isle of Bute for £1.48 million.
In 2012, the charity, which leads the fight against muscle-wasting conditions in the UK, established the Richard Attenborough Fellowship Fund to honour his lifelong commitment to the charity, and to ensure the future of clinical research and training at leading UK neuromuscular centres. … Read More
2013 89 Years Old In March 2013, in light of his deteriorating health, Attenborough moved into a nursing home in London to be with his wife, as confirmed by their son Michael.
2014 91 Years Old Attenborough died on 24 August 2014, five days before his 91st birthday. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Attenborough.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.