Richard Attenborough
British actor, film director
Richard Attenborough
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.
Biography
Richard Attenborough's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Richard Attenborough from around the web
Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Letter and Other Movie Props Could Fetch Up to $2 Million at Auction
Huffington Post - 5 months
This article originally appeared on artnet News. A London movie theater might seem like an unusual spot to hold an auction, but for the London- and Los Angeles-based Prop Store, a veritable treasure trove of costumes, props, and other Hollywood collectibles from both television and the silver screen, nothing could be more fitting. In business for 18 years, the company is now auctioning off 500 items on September 27 at the BFI IMAX cinema at Waterloo in London. Prop Store, according to the auction catalogue, “was founded on the belief that the props and costumes used in movies are pieces of art ― film art.” Among the “art” included in the upcoming sale is everything from Christian Bale’s batsuit from The Dark Knight Rises, estimated at £60,000; to Jack Bauer’s New York State driver’s license, used by Kiefer Sutherland in the award-winning series 24, a relative bargain at just £300–500 ($400–660). Other intriguing lots include a TIE fighter pilot helmet from “Star Wars: A ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Negotiating the Religious-Secular Divide and the Films That Portray Us Doing It
Huffington Post - about 1 year
This is Part 1 of a two-part post on the Religious-Secular divide in modern global culture. Part 2, Religion vs. Secularism In Art and How Shahzia Sikander and Jim Shaw Turn Social Alienation Into Spiritual Engagement, is posted on HuffintgonPost Arts and Culture. Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev, 1966 When we stop trying to define the truth for others we can begin to appreciate to what extent the society we inhabit is an ongoing negotiation between the secular and the religious. The social contract keeping the peace between us proves only as tolerant as the quid pro quo that guarantees its citizens' mutual survival. In many senses this quid pro quo, as variable, even erratic, as it may prove to be with the passage of new laws and the election of new representatives, is as important to the climate of peace and prosperity of the society as is the national constitution and laws guaranteeing religious freedom in modern democratic states. In essence only two primary principles have ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
A Revealing Look At Mother Teresa In The Upcoming Film, 'The Letters'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
November 13 was World Kindness Day. Even doing one tiny act of kindness can change your world and the world around you. One of the greatest devotees of the power of kindness was the late Mother Teresa who won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work to help the hungry and sick in the slums of Calcutta. "Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love," she said. On December 4, The Letters, a feature film about Mother Teresa's life will open in theaters across the nation. Juliet Stevenson stars as Mother Teresa as her life unfolds over the course of 50 years. The film looks at her life's work, her political oppression, her religious zeal, her ferocious spirit and how she impacted so many lives. The Letters, which also stars Max Van Sydow and Rutger Hauer, is told through personal letters that Mother Teresa wrote the last 40 years of her life. The correspondence reveals a vulnerable and very human woman who felt isolation and loneliness. William Riead, who wrote an ...
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Huffington Post article
The Final Trailer for Jurassic World is Here
HeyUGuys.co.uk - almost 2 years
It’s hard to believe that over twenty years has passed since the late, much lamented Richard Attenborough welcomed us all to Jurassic The post The Final Trailer for Jurassic World is Here appeared first on HeyUGuys.
Article Link:
HeyUGuys.co.uk article
Richard Attenborough celebrates 90
Reuters.com - over 3 years
Aug 29 - The famed filmmaker marks his milestone birthday on August 29th. Alicia Powell reports.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Movie Reviews: Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. is Back
Burnsville Patch - almost 4 years
Editor's Note: All reviews and information aggregated from Moviefone and RottenTomatoes. Want to catch a movie this weekend? Here is Patch's roundup of movies playing at the three theaters in the south metro: Burnsville's Paragon Odyssey 15, Marcus Rosemount Cinema, Apple Valley’s Carmike Cinema and Great Clips IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo. New this weekend: Iron Man 3 One sentence plot: Marvel's "Iron Man 3" pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. Rotten Tomatoes viewer score: 99 Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80 Reviews: "But for all the clanking armies of iron knights on display to dazzle the eager kid in each of us, this summer epic rings hollow. There's no one home inside the suit." Rolling Stone Full Review "This installment actually flirts with satire, sending its hero-in-a-can on a vengeful mission against a mad, bearded jihadist before yanking the rug out from under the neocon st ...
Article Link:
Burnsville Patch article
Carole Mallory: Jurassic Park 3D Review: Take Me There!
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Whoopee! 3D IMAX works in this Dino-rama experience. Is it a dinosaur? A tyrannosaur? Help? What is it? What is that sound? The thumping? Surely you've seen Jurassic Park by now, but if you haven't, you're in for a real treat. The sound and the terrific state of the art special effects from Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri -- all part of George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic -- make for a terrifying journey back to the days when dinosaurs, according to Steven Spielberg, were kept as pets. Spielberg is at his finest in fantasyland just as in this story, the creation of the great late Michael Crichton, and in films where our imagination becomes a character. His Lincoln and War Horse dripped in sentimentality, but this dino dream roars of stand up tall courage vs. fear. You must choose a side. Will you cover your eyes cowardly like I did when one of the prehistoric monsters is about to devour a youngin' or you might identify with the boy who had th ...
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Huffington Post article
‘Gandhi’ director Richard Attenborough in care home
The Times of India - almost 4 years
Celebrated film director Richard Attenborough has moved into a care home due to ill health.
Article Link:
The Times of India article
Mike Ryan: Welcome To 'Jurassic Park 3D'
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
On Tuesday night, I attended an advanced screening of Jurassic Park 3D in IMAX, which is set for release in theaters on April 5, near Times Square in New York City. Sure, I had seen parts of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park here and there over the last 20 years, but, for whatever reason, I have not sat down and watched Jurassic Park from start to finish since it was originally in theaters. Anyway! To mark this occasion, I kept a live diary as I watched Jurassic Park in 3D. 6:03 p.m. I can honestly say that I have not seen the first few minutes of Jurassic Park in 20 years. I faintly remember this Jurassic Park employee being killed. 6:05 p.m. I definitely don't remember Miguel Sandoval being in this movie. Also, Miguel Sandoval apparently does not age. He looks exactly like the guy who wanted to make tequila with Vinnie Chase. 6:08 p.m. I can only assume that Sam Neill's Dr. Alan Grant couldn't get away with accosting a child with a Velociraptor claw in 2013. ...
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Huffington Post article
Peggy Siegal: Remembering Lois Smith
Huffington Post - over 4 years
In 1977, for the entire year I sent my resume to Lois Smith, the actress, begging and hounding for a job. Finally, the actress called me up and said I sounded like a lovely young lady but I have been writing to the wrong Lois Smith. She gave me the other Lois Smith's phone number. I called Lois, co-owner of Pickwick Public Relations and told her the story. Lois was so charmed by my perseverance that she instantly hired me. She was my mentor and greatly influenced me with her kindness. She taught me everything I know about actors, directors, the art of promoting films. She knew better than anyone how to coach reluctant actors into doing interesting and insightful interviews. Lois was best friends with every film critic and sort of "held their hands" as she presented her beloved clients to them. She gave the filmmakers all the praise and love they so deserved. Talent adored her. In the summer of 1982 at Pickwick, after I helped on the release campaign of Steven Spie ...
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Huffington Post article
WATCH: How To Travel Like James Bond This Summer
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
James Bond may be her majesty's most frequent flier. Over the last six decades, the debonair agent has explored every corner of the globe, leaving behind him a slew of bikinied and bullet-ridden bodies. Following in his footstep might not be possible -- he has a jetpack and you don't -- but travelers can get a little inspiration from 007 as they look forward to summer vacation. From Phuket to Prague, the Caribbean to Himeji Castle, Bond has provided ideas for aspiring bon vivants and wanderers, bringing exotic locales to the silver screen and, in due course, blowing them up. He's a sort of pyrotechnic Richard Attenborough, Michael Palin afflicted by addictions to sex, adrenaline and bon mots. It should be noted that Bond doesn't just travel, he travels in style. A stay at Goldeneye may be affordable to the elite, but it doesn't qualify as a true Bond experience until it involves several woman, all beautiful, a perfect martini, a bluff and a series of easily foiled attem ...
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Huffington Post article
Globe’s Sixties icon
Selby Times - almost 5 years
FILM fans are in for a rare treat when a 60s pop icon and celebrated Hollywood actor visits Selby next month. John Leyton is remembered by many as one of the most successful UK pop singers of his time, notching up nine chart entries during a four-year period, the most successful being Johnny Remember Me, Wild Wind and Son This Is She. To others he was a successful and talented actor, who appeared in major films such as The Great Escape, Von Ryan’s Express and Guns At Batasi working alongside silver screen legends of the ilk of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Richard Attenborough and Steve McQueen. Selby Globe has invited John to make a personal appearance on May 24, to talk about his acting career along with a screening of Guns At Batasi. The concept for the show came from Globe volunteer Chris Knight, who has known John for many years and will be interviewing him on the day. Chris said: “John has had a fascinating career, and it seemed to be an ideal opportunity to ge ...
Article Link:
Selby Times article
Pinewood opens Richard Attenborough Stage
Broadcast - almost 5 years
Pinewood has officially opened its newest studio, the 30,000 sq ft Richard Attenborough Stage.
Article Link:
Broadcast article
Will Hollywood ever top its Cinema Class of 1982?
LATimes - almost 5 years
If I heard that someone was assembling a screening series of fondly remembered films that included the likes of “Road Warrior,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Blade Runner,” John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” “E.T.,” “Poltergeist,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” the original “Tron,” “Conan the Barbarian” and “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” all I would have to ask is: Where do I sign up? What’s amazing about this list is that all of the above movies came out during the summer of 1982. I wish I’d remembered that myself, but the credit goes to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, the Austin-based specialty theater chain that is known for its innovative programming as well as its in-your-face anti-texting public service announcements. The chain has said they're looking to establish a beachhead in L.A., which would be a much welcomed development. For now, Alamo is doing a series of screenings at their theaters starting next month devoted to “Summer of 1982” film classics. The line-up puts most r ...
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LATimes article
The Inner Light of Terence Davies
The New York Review Of Books - almost 5 years
J. Hoberman The Film Desk Leigh McCormack as a movie-loving boy in The Long Day Closes A nation must have its culture heroes, and current wisdom among Anglo-American movie critics and programmers has advanced Terence Davies to the position of Britain’s greatest living filmmaker. The claim may have been made as long ago as The Long Day Closes (1991), Davies’ most autobiographical and fully achieved work, which dramatizes his childhood love of the movies; but consensus coalesced in 2008 with the completion of his documentary-essay about his native Liverpool, Of Time and the City—the filmmaker’s first movie in the eight years since adapting Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. Beginning this week, viewers in New York will have an unusual chance to assess his work afresh, with the US release of The Deep Blue Sea, his new version of the 1952 Terence Rattigan adultery drama of the same name, coinciding with a retrospective of his work at BAM and a revival of The Lo ...
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The New York Review Of Books article
Richard Attenborough Regional Film Awards: Winners Announced!
On The Box - about 5 years
Gary named top British dog up but RPatz is named "Best Actor"...in the world? The <a class="fplink fp-230955" href="/richard+attenborough+1">Richard Attenborough</a> Regional Film Awards were announced this afternoon with British film Tinker Tailor Solider Spy bagging three awards, including Best British Film. UK stars Robert Pattinson and Gary Oldman were also recognised for their acting awesomeness. Luckily an OTB correspondent was in the neighbourhood and only too happy to munch mini canape burgers while the results were announced. The full list of categories with their corresponding kings and queens are listed below: UK Regional Film Critics’ Awards Film of the Year – The Artist Filmmaker of the Year – Michel Hazanavicius (dir. The Artist) Screenwriter of the Year – Bridget O’Connor &amp; Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) Best Actor – Michael Fassbender (Shame) Best Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) Rising Star – Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Thor, The ...
Article Link:
On The Box article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Richard Attenborough
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 90
    Attenborough died on 24 August 2014, five days before his 91st birthday.
    More Details Hide Details He was survived by his wife of 69 years, their two children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Attenborough was the subject of This Is Your Life in December 1962 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the Savoy Hotel, during a dinner held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap, in which he had been an original cast member.
  • 2013
    Age 89
    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.
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  • 2012
    Age 88
    In 2012 Attenborough was portrayed by Simon Callow in the BBC Four biopic The Best Possible Taste about Kenny Everett.
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    In October 2012, it was announced that Attenborough was putting the family home, Old Friars, with its attached offices, Beaver Lodge, which come complete with a sound-proofed cinema in the garden, on the market for £11.5 million.
    More Details Hide Details His brother David stated: "He and his wife both loved the house, but they now need full-time care". It simply isn't practical to keep the house on any more."
    In June 2012, shortly before her 90th birthday, Sheila Sim entered the actors' home Denville Hall, for which she and Attenborough had helped raise funds.
    More Details Hide Details In July 2012 it was announced that Sim had been diagnosed with senile dementia.
    In his absence because of illness, Lord Puttnam and Pinewood Chairman Lord Grade officially unveiled the stage on 23 April 2012.
    More Details Hide Details "Journalism News Network", Arts for India to honor Sir Richard Attenborough posthumously, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 Arts for India charity committee to honour Sir Richard Attenborough posthumously on the 19th Oct 2016 at an event hosted at home of BAFTA. Attenborough also headed a committee awarding the eponymous Attenborough Prize, a £2,000 annual arts prize celebrating creativity by emerging artists. In early 1973, he was portrayed as "Dickie Attenborough" in the British Showbiz Awards sketch late in the third series of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Attenborough is portrayed by Eric Idle as effusive and simpering.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Attenborough was also the patron of the United World Colleges movement, whereby he contributed to the colleges that are part of the organisation. He was a frequent visitor to the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (UWCSA). With his wife, they founded the Richard and Sheila Attenborough Visual Arts Centre. He founded the Jane Holland Creative Centre for Learning at Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland in memory of his daughter who died in the tsunami on 26 December 2004. He was a longtime advocate of education that does not judge upon colour, race, creed or religion. His attachment to Waterford was his passion for non-racial education, which were the grounds on which Waterford Kamhlaba was founded. Waterford was one of his inspirations for directing the film Cry Freedom, based on the life of Steve Biko.
  • 2011
    Age 87
    In May 2011, David Attenborough revealed that his brother had been confined to a wheelchair since his stroke in 2008, but was still capable of holding a conversation.
    More Details Hide Details He added that "he won't be making any more films."
    In January 2011, he sold his Rhubodach estate on the Scottish Isle of Bute for £1.48 million.
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  • 2009
    Age 85
    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.
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  • 2008
    Age 84
    On 30 November 2008 he was honoured with the title of Life President at the club's stadium, Stamford Bridge.
    More Details Hide Details He was also head of the consortium Dragon International Film Studios, which was constructing a film and television studio complex in Llanilid, Wales, nicknamed "Valleywood". In March 2008, the project was placed into administration with debts of £15 million and was considered for sale of the assets in 2011. A mooted long-term lease to Fox 21 fell through in 2015 though the facilities continue to be used for film-making. He had a lifelong ambition to make a film about his hero the political theorist and revolutionary Thomas Paine, whom he called "one of the finest men that ever lived". He said in an interview in 2006 that "I could understand him. He wrote in simple English. I found all his aspirations – the rights of women, the health service, universal education... Everything you can think of that we want is in Rights of Man or The Age of Reason or Common Sense." He could not secure the funding to do so. The website "A Gift for Dickie" was launched by two filmmakers from Luton in June 2008 with the aim of raising £40m in 400 days to help him make the film, but the target was not met and the money that had been raised was refunded.
    In December 2008, he suffered a fall at his home after a stroke, and was admitted to St George's Hospital in Tooting, southwest London.
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    In August 2008, Attenborough entered hospital with heart problems and was fitted with a pacemaker.
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    In 2008 he published an informal autobiography entitled Entirely Up to You, Darling in association with his long-standing friend and colleague Diana Hawkins.
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    In 2008, Attenborough was appointed Life President of Chelsea Football Club.
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  • 2005
    Age 81
    He publicly endorsed the Labour Party in the 2005 General Election, despite his opposition to the Iraq War.
    More Details Hide Details Attenborough collected Picasso ceramics from the 1950s. More than 100 items went on display at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester in 2007, in an exhibition dedicated to family members lost in the tsunami.
  • 2004
    Age 80
    Attenborough later described the Boxing Day of 2004 as "the worst day of my life".
    More Details Hide Details Attenborough had two other children, Michael and Charlotte. Michael is a theatre director and the former artistic director of the Almeida Theatre in London and has been married to actress Karen Lewis since 1984; they have two sons. Charlotte is an actress, and has three children.
    On 26 December 2004, the couple's elder daughter, 49-year-old Mrs Jane Holland, along with her mother-in-law, and Attenborough's 15-year-old granddaughter, Lucy, were killed when a tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake struck Khao Lak, Thailand, where they were on holiday.
    More Details Hide Details A service was held on 8 March 2005 and Attenborough read a lesson at the national memorial service on 11 May 2005. His grandson Samuel Holland, an actor in his own right, who survived the tsunami uninjured, and granddaughter Alice Holland, who suffered severe leg injuries, also read in the service. A commemorative plaque was placed in the floor of St Mary Magdalen's parish church in Richmond.
    After 33 years of dedicated service as President of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign, Attenborough became the charity's Honorary Life President in 2004.
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  • 1998
    Age 74
    He was elected to the post of Chancellor of the University of Sussex on 20 March 1998, replacing The Duke of Richmond and Gordon.
    More Details Hide Details He stood down as Chancellor of the university following graduation in July 2008. There now hangs a 42 inch by 46 inch portrait of him in the university's library. A lifelong supporter of Chelsea Football Club, Attenborough served as a director of the club from 1969–1982 and between 1993 and 2008 held the honorary position of Life Vice President.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1982
    Age 58
    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.
    More Details Hide Details He directed the screen version of the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the anti-apartheid drama Cry Freedom (1987). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for both films. His later films as director and producer include Chaplin (1992) starring Robert Downey, Jr., as Charlie Chaplin and Shadowlands (1993), based on the relationship between C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham (the star of the latter was Anthony Hopkins, who had appeared in four previous films for Attenborough: Young Winston, A Bridge Too Far, Magic and Chaplin). Between 2006 and 2007, he spent time in Belfast, working on his last film as director and producer, Closing the Ring, a love story set in Belfast during the Second World War and starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Pete Postlethwaite.
  • 1977
    Age 53
    In 1977, he played the ruthless General Outram, again to great acclaim, in the Indian director Satyajit Ray's period piece The Chess Players.
    More Details Hide Details He took no acting roles following his appearance in Otto Preminger's version of The Human Factor (1979) until his appearance as John Hammond in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) and the film's sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). He starred in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street (1994) as Kris Kringle. Later he made occasional appearances in supporting roles, including as Sir William Cecil in the historical drama Elizabeth (1998), Jacob in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as "The Narrator" in the film adaptation of Spike Milligan's comedy book Puckoon (2002). He made his only appearance in a film adaptation of Shakespeare when he played the English ambassador who announces that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead at the end of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996). In the late 1950s, Attenborough formed a production company, Beaver Films, with Bryan Forbes and began to build a profile as a producer on projects including The League of Gentlemen (1959), The Angry Silence (1960) and Whistle Down the Wind (1961), appearing in the cast of the first two films.
  • FORTIES
  • 1967
    Age 43
    In the 1967 Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
    More Details Hide Details He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 1976 New Year Honours, having the honour conferred on 10 February 1976 and on 30 July 1993 he was created a life peer as Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Although the appointment by John Major was 'non-political' (it was granted for services to the cinema) and he could have been a crossbencher, Attenborough chose to take the Labour whip and so sat on the Labour benches. In 1992 he had been offered a peerage by Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour Party, but refused it as he felt unable to commit himself to the time necessary "to do what was required of him in the Upper Chamber, as he always put film-making first". In 1983, Attenborough was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolence Peace Prize by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
  • 1965
    Age 41
    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.
    More Details Hide Details His portrayal of the serial killer John Christie in 10 Rillington Place (1971) garnered excellent reviews.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1963
    Age 39
    In 1963, he appeared alongside Steve McQueen and James Garner in 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.
    More Details Hide Details It was his first appearance in a major Hollywood film blockbuster and his most successful film thus far. During the 1960s, he expanded his range of character roles in films such as Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and Guns at Batasi (1964), for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM).
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details They took a 10 percent profit-participation in the production, which was paid for out of their combined weekly salary ("It proved to be the wisest business decision I've ever made... but foolishly I sold some of my share to open a short-lived Mayfair restaurant called 'The Little Elephant' and later still, disposed of the remainder in order to keep Gandhi afloat.") Attenborough worked prolifically in British films for the next 30 years, including in the 1950s, appearing in several successful comedies for John and Roy Boulting, such as Private's Progress (1956) and I'm All Right Jack (1959).
  • 1945
    Age 21
    Attenborough married actress Sheila Sim in 1945.
    More Details Hide Details From 1949 until October 2012 they lived in Beaver Lodge on Richmond Green in London. In the 1940s, he was asked to 'improve his physical condition' for his role as Pinkie in Brighton Rock. He was asked to train with Chelsea Football Club for a fortnight, subsequently becoming good friends with those at the club. He went on to become a director during the 1970s, helping to prevent the club losing its home ground by holding onto his club shares.
    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.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1942
    Age 18
    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.
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  • 1939
    Age 15
    In September 1939, through the British charitable programme known as Kindertransport, 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.
    More Details Hide Details The sisters moved to the United States in the 1950s and lived with an uncle, where they married and took American citizenship; Irene died in 1992 and Helga in 2005. During the Second World War, Attenborough served in the Royal Air Force. After initial pilot training he was seconded to the newly formed R.A.F. Film Unit at Pinewood Studios, under the command of Flight Lieutenant John Boulting (whose brother Peter Cotes would later direct Attenborough in the play The Mousetrap) where he appeared with Edward G. Robinson in the propaganda film Journey Together (1943). He then volunteered to fly with the Film Unit and after further training, where he sustained permanent ear damage, qualified as a sergeant, flying on several missions over Europe filming from the rear gunner's position to record the outcome of Bomber Command sorties.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1923
    Born
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Attenborough was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and studied at RADA.
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