Filmmaking legend: Remembering Lord Richard Attenborough
Two time Oscar winning filmmaker Lord Richard Attenborough has passed away at the age of 90, the English actor leaves a string of hits behind him including Steven Spielberg's 1993 Jurassic Park its 1997 sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Hamlet and the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street.
As well as his accomplishments, in front and behind the lens, Lord Attenborough also served as the fourth president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts from 2002 to 2009, the organisation said of his passing "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."
Affectionately known as Dickie, Attenborough is survived by his wife of 69 years Sheila Sim, their children and his brother Sir David Attenborough.
To mark this devastating loss, and to honour the great man, The Fan Carpet have combed through his vast filmography to pick out our favourite roles...
Brighton Rock (1947)
Dickie played Pinkie Brown for Director John Boulting.
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. This doesn't convince Ida Arnold, who was with Fred just before he died, and she sets out to find the truth. She comes across naive waitress Rose, who can prove that Fred was murdered. In an attempt to keep Rose quiet Pinkie marries her. But with his gang beginning to doubt his ability, and his rivals taking over his business, Pinkie starts to become more desperate and violent.
The Great Escape (1963)
Attenborough played Bartlett 'Big X'.
Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POW's) are all put in an 'escape proof' camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe.
The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Playing Lew Moran.
A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out.
Dickie played Edward Sloat.
In a bold coup a Palestinian terrorist group captures the yacht Rosebud and kidnaps the millionaires five daughters on it. At first they demand film clips to be shown on major European TV stations. Undercover agent Martin is hired to hunt the terrorists down.
Garnering him two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, this eight time Oscar winning film starred Sir Ben Kingsley as the titular Gandhi.
In 1893, Gandhi is thrown off a South African train for being an Indian and traveling in a first class compartment. Gandhi realises that the laws are biased against Indians and decides to start a non-violent protest campaign for the rights of all Indians in South Africa. After numerous arrests and the unwanted attention of the world, the government finally relents by recognising rights for Indians, though not for the native blacks of South Africa. After this victory, Gandhi is invited back to India, where he is now considered something of a national hero. He is urged to take up the fight for India's independence from the British Empire. Gandhi agrees, and mounts a non-violent non-cooperation campaign of unprecedented scale, coordinating millions of Indians nationwide. There are some setbacks, such as violence against the protesters and Gandhi's occasional imprisonment. Nevertheless, the campaign generates great attention, and Britain faces intense public pressure.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Portrayed bioengineering magnate John Hammond in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel.
Huge advancements in scientific technology have enabled a mogul to create an island full of living dinosaurs. John Hammond has invited four individuals, along with his two grandchildren, to join him at Jurassic Park. But will everything go to plan? Especially when one of the parks' own workers attempts to steal the dinosaur embryos, and has to shut down critical security systems in the process. It's now a race for survival with dangerous creatures roaming all over the island.
Lord Attenborough directed Robert Downey Jr. in this three time Oscar nominated biopic about the great entertainer Charlie Chaplin.
The biography of Charlie Chaplin, filmmaker extraordinaire. From his formative years in England to his highest successes in America, Charlie's life, work, and loves are followed. While his screen characters were extremely hilarious, the man behind "The Little Tramp" was constantly haunted by a sense of loss.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Portrayed Kris Kringle in this beloved remake alongside Mara Wilson.
A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. Her mother told her the "secret" about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn't expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all - something to believe in.
Playing the English Ambassador in Kenneth Branagh's four time Oscar nominated adaptation of William Shakespeare classic play.
Hamlet, son of the king of Denmark, is summoned home for his father's funeral and his mother's wedding to his uncle. In a supernatural episode, he discovers that his uncle, whom he hates anyway, murdered his father. In an incredibly convoluted plot--the most complicated and most interesting in all literature--he manages to (impossible to put this in exact order) feign (or perhaps not to feign) madness, murder the "prime minister," love and then unlove an innocent whom he drives to madness, plot and then unplot against the uncle, direct a play within a play, successfully conspire against the lives of two well-meaning friends, and finally take his revenge on the uncle, but only at the cost of almost every life on stage, including his own and his mother's.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Reprised his role of bioengineering magnate John Hammond in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel.
Four years after the failure of Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, John Hammond reveals to Ian Malcolm that there was another island ("Site B") on which dinosaurs were bred before being transported to Isla Nublar. Left alone since the disaster, the dinosaurs have flourished, and Hammond is anxious that the world see them in their "natural" environment before they are exploited.
Portrayed Sir William Cecil alongside Cate Blanchett in this Oscar winning biopic.
This film details the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, as played by Cate Blanchett. The main focus is the endless attempts by her council to marry her off, the Catholic hatred of her and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley.
LORD ATTENBOROUGH WILL BE FOREVER MISSED AND ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS • RIP 1923 - 2014 NEVER FORGOTTEN