Director and actor Richard Attenborough dies aged 90

A picture taken on Oct 5, 2008 shows Sir Richard Attenborough attending Chelsea's premiership match against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge football stadium. -- PHOTO: AFP
A picture taken on Oct 5, 2008 shows Sir Richard Attenborough attending Chelsea's premiership match against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge football stadium. -- PHOTO: AFP
Richard Attenborough arrives at the Royal premiere of his film In Love And War with his wife Sheila Sim in London, in this file picture taken on Feb 12, 1997. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Richard Attenborough arrives at the Royal premiere of his film In Love And War with his wife Sheila Sim in London, in this file picture taken on Feb 12, 1997. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A scene from Jurassic Park: The Lost World starring Richard Attenborough (left) and Jeff Goldblum. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
A scene from Jurassic Park: The Lost World starring Richard Attenborough (left) and Jeff Goldblum. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
A scene from Jurassic Park, starring (second from left) Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
A scene from Jurassic Park, starring (second from left) Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) starring (from left) Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern and Sam Neill. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) starring (from left) Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern and Sam Neill. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

LONDON (AFP) - British director and actor Richard Attenborough has died aged 90 after a long illness, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) said on Sunday.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of esteemed film-maker and former Bafta President Lord Attenborough,” the organisation wrote on Twitter.

Attenborough, who appeared in movies such as Brighton Rock, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park, in a career spanning six decades, died on Sunday lunchtime, his son told broadcaster BBC.

“His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning - Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema,” British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter.

Attenborough, who 1982 movie Gandhi won eight Oscars for the film, including best film and best director, was born in Cambridge in 1923.

A member of the British House of Lords with the Labour party, Attenborough was celebrated on Twitter by many who had known him.

“Very sad to learn of death of Richard Attenborough, a fine man in every way. Proud that he was a Labour peer,” wrote Labour leader in the house Janet Royall.

“Really sad news death Richard Attenborough brilliant actor film director,” wrote former Cabinet minister Peter Hain. “Stalwart lovely man & friend”.

The brother of famous wildlife presenter David, Attenborough had three children with his wife Sheila, whom he had married aged 21.

Increasingly frail after falling down the stairs at home, Attenborough moved into a care home with his wife towards the end of his life.


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