Author Topic: Richard Attenborough Died Today  (Read 74 times)

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Online Nam

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Richard Attenborough Died Today
« on: August 24, 2014, 09:49:27 PM »
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http://m.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-11230065

Quote
During a career spanning 60 years, the irrepressible Richard Attenborough became one of Britain's best-known actors and directors: a man of charm, talent and old-fashioned liberal principles.

What one writer described as "an apparently unquenchable appetite for doing good", Attenborough himself attributed to his upbringing in Leicester.

Richard Samuel Attenborough was born on 29 August 1923.

He and his brothers David, the television naturalist, and John were brought up by fervently do-gooding parents - their father was principal of University College, Leicester.

Both father and mother were Labour Party activists whose commitment extended to adopting two Jewish refugee girls from Germany when World War II broke out.

Attenborough inherited a belief in the importance of community and society. Apart from a brief flirtation with the Social Democrats he was a lifelong member of the Labour Party, and much of his work reflected his political beliefs.

He made his film debut while still a drama student in 1942, playing a cameo role as a cowardly young stoker on a naval destroyer in Noel Coward's In Which We Serve.

Over the next 30 years - interrupted by three years' service in the RAF - he became a star and one of Britain's most reliable character actors.

Christmas fixture

His most astonishing performance was his chilling portrayal, in 1947, of the teenage hoodlum and murderer Pinky in Brighton Rock.

On stage he was part of the original cast of Agatha Christie's long-running whodunnit, The Mousetrap.

He later became a fixture of a score of British television Christmases as Bartlett in 1963 prison camp drama The Great Escape.

In 1964 he won a best actor Bafta for his portrayal of the downtrodden husband of a deranged spiritualist in Seance on a Wet Afternoon.

The award also recognised his performance as a martinet sergeant major facing a native uprising in Guns at Batasi.

His greatest skill as an actor was the sympathetic embodiment of ordinary though never mundane men in extraordinary circumstances.

It served him especially well in 1971 when he played the mass murderer John Christie - outwardly normal, in reality a psychopath - in 10 Rillington Place.

He was knighted for his efforts in 1976. But he had become frustrated with acting, in which he only ever interpreted other people's work.

He began producing films, then making them. "Becoming a director enabled me to do things I couldn't do as an actor," he said.

He was a film-maker with a mission, believing popular cinema had a capacity to make the world a better place.

His greatest achievement was his 1982 epic Gandhi, starring Ben Kingsley as the outsider hero whose moral courage and sense of purpose enabled him to change the world.

Political statements

Gandhi won eight Oscars, including best actor and best director. But it took Attenborough 20 years to raise the money to make it.

He mortgaged his house, sold possessions and took roles in films he described as "terrible crap" to help pay for what became an obsession.

Along the way he directed other films. There was a version of Joan Littlewood's anti-war satire Oh! What a Lovely War. There was Young Winston, about Churchill's early years, and the war epic A Bridge Too Far.

After Gandhi came his adaptation of the musical A Chorus Line. It was followed by Cry Freedom, the story of the murdered South African black activist Steve Biko and Donald Woods, the white journalist who took up his cause.

Like Gandhi, Cry Freedom was a box office and critical success. Like Gandhi, it was anti-racist, anti-imperialist and impeccably liberal, as well as a strong, eminently watchable drama.

Both films wore their political hearts on their sleeves. And both were occasionally criticised for being overblown, overlong, sentimental and even patronising.

Some of his films were flops. His 1992 biopic of Charlie Chaplin failed to make money, while Grey Owl, about a pioneering Canadian Indian environmentalist who turned out to have been born in Hastings, went straight to video in the US.

His final film, 2007's Closing the Ring, was judged to be a muted finale to a distinguished directorial career.

But Shadowlands, released 14 years earlier with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, was a commercial and critical success.

Committees full of 'darlings'

The story of children's writer C S Lewis and his late love affair with American poet Joy Gresham was an unashamed and astonishingly effective tear-jerker.

It befitted a film by a man who was himself famous, even notorious, for weeping in public.

Late in life Attenborough resumed his own acting career in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park in 1993, the year he became a life peer.

He also starred as Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street and had a cameo role in 1998's Elizabeth.

As well as being one of Britain's foremost actors and directors, Lord Attenborough was also one of its most active public figures.

His vast entry in Who's Who listed more than 30 organisations of which he was or had been a director, trustee, fellow, chairman or president.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline shnozzola

Re: Richard Attenborough Died Today
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 07:20:12 PM »
"Herr Bartlett?  Your German is good.  And I hear your also your French."

« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 07:21:58 PM by shnozzola »
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something."  ~ T. H. White
  The real holy trinity:  onion, celery, and bell pepper ~  all Cajun Chefs

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Richard Attenborough Died Today
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 10:15:10 AM »
Time to watch Gandhi again.

RIP
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Online Nam

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Re: Richard Attenborough Died Today
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 10:24:14 AM »
Time to watch Gandhi again.

RIP

How about the Jurassic Park series? He was at least in those.

;)

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Richard Attenborough Died Today
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 10:28:06 AM »
How about the Jurassic Park series? He was at least in those.

;)

Do you think they'll CGI him into the remake?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Online Nam

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Re: Richard Attenborough Died Today
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 10:29:44 AM »
How about the Jurassic Park series? He was at least in those.

;)

Do you think they'll CGI him into the remake?

Seems to be the things they do. Just got to find and old chubby guy that they can superimpose upon...

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey