Actor, Oscar wining director RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH gone at 90.
Despite more than 50 years as a stage and screen actor — including supporting roles in adventure pics “The Flight of the Phoenix” (1965) "The Greeat Escape" (he was "Big X") (1962) ,“The Sand Pebbles” (1966) and “Doctor Dolittle” (1967) — Attenborough achieved widespread international recognition for his starring role in Jurassic Park,” (1992) .
In 1967 he appeared in the big-budget musical “Doctor Dolittle,” which brought him a Golden Globe for supporting actor.
Born in Cambridge, Attenborough Attenborough won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London in 1940.
In 1942 he made his screen debut in Noel Coward’s wartime drama “In Which We Serve,” directed by David Lean.
Attenborough began directing in 1969 with “Oh What a Lovely War”. He lensed the biopic “Young Winston,” starring Simon Ward as Winston Churchill. But his next film, 1977’s “A Bridge Too Far,” with a roster of superstars including Robert Redford, Elliot Gould, James Caan and Anthony Hopkins was a $25 million floperoo.
In order to get “Gandhi” made Attenborough took acting gigs for the bread (much like Orson Welles did) in Brannigan,” “Rosebud” and “Ten Little Indians” and his film of the old ventriloquist –dummy love triangle was for producer Joseph E. Levine to get financifg for “Gandhi.”
The film won eight Oscars in 1982 including two for Attenborough as best director and for producer.
His 1992 biopic “Chaplin” was less successful, though Robert Downey Jr. won an Oscar nomination for best actor.
1n 1992 Attenborough starred as the DNA-master of dinosaurts in “Jurassic Park,” Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster based on Michael Crichton’s best-seller.It was his first acting assignment in 13 years and as a thesp, he was back in business.
Attenborough played Kris Kringle in John Hughes’ remake of “The Miracle on 34th Street” and also appeared in roles in Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet,” (1996) and Cate Blanchett vehicle “Elizabeth” (2000).
“I have no interest in being remembered as a great creative filmmaker,” Attenborough once said. “I want to be remembered as a storyteller.”