- Title: FILE: Lord Richard Attenborough turns 90
- Date: 29th August 2013
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH
- Embargoed: 13th September 2013 13:00
- Location: Canada
- Country: Canada
- Reuters ID: LVA4NX0W29YAGBZB96SGI7P77ZT
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- Story Text: Richard Attenborough, director of the epics "Gandhi" and "Cry Freedom," fought passionately to turn the British film industry into the Hollywood of Europe.
Richard Samuel Attenborough -- he was knighted in 1976 and was made a baron in June 1993 -- was born on August 29, 1923 in Cambridge, eastern England.
In 1942, he appeared in an uncredited role in Noel Coward's "In Which We Serve." He co-starred in 1963's "The Great Escape" and 1966's "The Sand Pebbles," both with Steve McQueen.
One of Lord Attenborough's greatest achievements was making the cinematic tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most successful films of all time, but he also won worldwide acting fame for his role as a theme park owner in "Jurassic Park." For its 20th anniversary, "Jurassic Park" was remastered for Blu-ray and 3D theatrical release in 2013.
"Gandhi," a $22 million epic, came out in 1982 and scooped eight Hollywood Oscars, a record for a British film and only three less than the all-time record by "Ben Hur" in 1959. Hollywood tycoons initially argued that the life story of an Indian mystic was not the stuff of box-office hits and wanted a top American box-office name to star in "Gandhi," but Attenborough refused this, casting a comparative unknown in Sir Ben Kingsley.
"Gandhi," the story of the father of Indian independence, eclipsed Steven Spielberg's science-fiction smash "E.T.," the most profitable movie in box-office history, and took the awards for best film, best director and best actor.
He made a movie version of the Broadway musical "A Chorus Line" and in 1987 produced and directed "Cry Freedom," a film about Steve Biko, the South African black civil rights activist who died in police custody.
Attenborough has three children, a son and two daughters. One of his two brothers, David, is a well-known naturalist.
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