Legendary actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died, his son told news outlets Sunday. Attenborough was 90.
In a career that spanned more than six decades, Attenborough won our hearts as brave squadron leader Bartlett in The Great Escape, and still had them 30 years later as kindly-but-misguided uncle John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
As a director, Attenborough was best known for his Oscar-winning work on Gandhi.
Attenborough was born in Cambridge in 1923. He started acting at the age of 12, made his professional stage debut at 18 and, for nearly the rest of his life, never retreated from the limelight.
He married his wife, actress Sheila Sim, in 1945. The couple had three children: Michael, Jane and Charlotte. In 2004, Attenborough and his family faced tragedy when Jane, her daughter Lucy and her mother-in-law were killed in a South Asian tsunami.
Attenborough was celebrated in his home country of England, and was knighted there in 1976. Soon after news of Attenborough’s death, British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted a tribute, saying, “His acting in ‘Brighton Rock’ was brilliant, his directing of ‘Gandhi’ was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.”
His acting in "Brighton Rock" was brilliant, his directing of "Gandhi" was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 24, 2014
Celebrities also took to social media to share their memories and offer condolences to Attenborough’s family.
“Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with,” actress Mia Farrow tweeted. “A Prince. RIP ‘Pa’ – and thank you.”
BBC News reports that Attenborough and his wife had been living together in a nursing home for several years, and that Attenborough had been bound to a wheelchair since falling down some stairs about six years ago.
His family is expected to make a full statement Monday.
What are your favorite Attenborough movies or memories? Share them in the comments below.