♦ English film actor, producer and director
He was born in Cambridge and trained at RADA before making his first professional appearance in Ah, Wilderness (1941) and his film debut in In Which We Serve (1942). At first typecast as weak and cowardly youths, he played the thug Pinkie in Brighton Rock on stage (1943) and on film (1947). He developed into a conscientious character actor, winning British Academy Awards as the kidnapper in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and the bombastic sergeant major in Guns at Batasi (1964). He was actor-producer of several feature films in the 1960s before turning director on Oh! What a Lovely War (1969). A 20-year crusade to film the life of Mahatma Gandhi led to Gandhi (1982), which won eight Academy Awards. His other directorial credits include Cry Freedom (1987), Chaplin (1992) and Shadowlands (1993). After a lengthy absence, he returned to acting in Jurassic Park (1993), which he followed with Miracle on 34th Street (1994), Hamlet (1996) and Elizabeth (1998), amongst other films. The Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts was opened in 1997 at Leicester University. A tireless ambassador for the British film industry and supporter of numerous charitable causes, he married actress Sheila Sim (1922- ) in 1944 and is the brother of Sir David Attenborough. He was awarded the CBE in 1967, knighted in 1976, and made a life peer in 1993. In 2008 he published Entirely Up to You, Darling, a memoir co-written with Diana Hawkins.
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MEDIUM: bromide print MEASUREMENTS: 10 1/4 in. x 7 3/4 in. (261 mm x 197 mm) ID: x163781