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Sir Richard Attenborough (1923-2014)


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Sir Richard Attenborough, the British actor and filmmaker who won two Academy Awards for the 1982 Best Picture winner "Gandhi," has died at the age of 90. He also was one of the last surviving cast members of the 1963 drama "The Great Escape." He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on Friday, August 29th.

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-richard-attenborough-dies-20140824-story.html

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We saw the same news at the same time and both created threads.  I've requested the deletion of my thread.

 

I know he directed Gandhi and Chaplin.  While I haven't seen Gandhi, I have seen Chaplin.  What a great biopic.  While I'm sure that parts of Chaplin's life were probably "Hollywoodized," I thought this was a great film.  Robert Downey Jr. did a fantastic job portraying Chaplin in various points of his life, which I think is a testament to Attenborough's directing.  I believe he won the Oscar for Best Director for Gandhi.

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I know he directed Gandhi and Chaplin.  While I haven't seen Gandhi, I have seen Chaplin.  What a great biopic.  While I'm sure that parts of Chaplin's life were probably "Hollywoodized," I thought this was a great film.  Robert Downey Jr. did a fantastic job portraying Chaplin in various points of his life, which I think is a testament to Attenborough's directing.  I believe he won the Oscar for Best Director for Gandhi.

 

He was every bit as good at acting as he was at filmmaking. I still get chills watching "The Great Escape" when his character -- nicknamed "Big X" -- is executed with several other Allied fugitives by the Nazis. After the deaths of Attenborough and James Garner, I suppose this makes David McCallum the last major cast member standing. I also admired Attenborough's work in "Séance on a Wet Afternoon" (1964) and "The Sand Pebbles" (1966).

 

TCM aired the 1969 musical "Oh! What a Lovely War" -- his debut film as a director -- during its recent concentration on World War I films, but it was on too late at night for me to stick with it. Maybe they'll show it again during a daylong Attenborough tribute.

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I just saw this announcement on the BBC.  They knew what a talent they had before those of us here discovered him as "Roger" in The Great Escape.  What I remember him best for is 10 Rillington Place where he played a man who kills his neighbors, a mother and child, and lets the husband an father hang for the crimes.  It was based on fact and Sir Richard is just chillingly evil as the man.  It shows his versatility as an actor.  Thank you, England. 

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I just saw this announcement on the BBC.  They knew what a talent they had before those of us here discovered him as "Roger" in The Great Escape.  What I remember him best for is 10 Rillinton Place where he played a man who kills his neighbors, a mother and child, and lets the husband an father hang for the crimes.  It was based on fact and Sir Richard is just chillingly evil as the man.  It shows his versatility as an actor.  Thank you, England. 

10 Rillington Place :D

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Aside from his many fine dramatic roles, one of my favorite appearances was in Doctor Dolittle, playing the carnival owner, who sang "Iv'e Never Seen Anything Like It."  Delightful.  There used to be a clip of it on YouTube, but, alas, it has vanished.

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For a most elegant gentleman, Lord Attenborough did creepy very well too.  As can be seen in Brighton Rock, 10 Rillington Place and Seance on a Wet Afternoon.   Just shows how versatile he was as an actor, never mind as a director.

For me though, Lord Attenborough will always be the Big X.

There is a great little bit in William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade about how patient Attenborough could be under the most trying of circumstances.

The BAFTA web site, which Lord Attenborough once served as President as a nice obit ...

 

http://www.bafta.org/film/features/tribute-to-lord-attenborough-kt-cbe,4316,BA.html

 

 

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I just saw it in TODAY'S paper!  Late or not, my heartfelt condolences to his survivors is no less sincere.  I too, enjoyed many of his earlier film roles and even his later ones like in JURRASIC PARK and as Kris Kringle in the '90's remake of MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.  Of COURSE I felt that Edmund Gwenn set the bar kind of high for anyone else to do the role accfeptably, Sebastian Cabot notwithstanding, but I think Attenborough knew that and gave Kris his own twist

 

Too bad, and too sad for film making.

 

Sepiatone

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Sir Richard Attenborough, the British actor and filmmaker who won two Academy Awards for the 1982 Best Picture winner "Gandhi," has died at the age of 90. He also was one of the last surviving cast members of the 1963 drama "The Great Escape." He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on Friday, August 29th.

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-richard-attenborough-dies-20140824-story.html

 

Well this makes three  :(

 

Like his portrayal of another Frankenstein (your creation turns on you) in "Jurassic Park" (1993)

 

JohnHammond-JurassicPark-e1316187787398.

 

 

 

He made a great Kris Kringle in the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" (1994)

 

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Let it not be forgotten that Richard Attenborough co-starred alongside the great John Wayne as Cmdr. Swann in Brannigan. :)

 

 

 

Richard is thinking 'yea, he is a big star,  if only he could act'.    :lol:  

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A few years back when TCM had a "day" for my main gal Lee Remick they played the 1970 British film LOOT. It was a fun caper film with  very British humour of  course  and Richard Attenbourgh starred as  police inspector. I hope that TCM can secure that one for an Attenborough tribute day  For me, he will always be first remembered as   Bartlett "Big X"   in THE GREAT ESCAPE.

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I didn't realize that he had made it to 90; he was a Renaissance man in every sense of the word. I used to make a game out of spotting his early roles in British cinema; I always was able to find him. He was one of those performers who was instantly recognizable and also extremely versatile, as well as believable in whatever role he played. I love the way that he and his wife remained married for all of these years. The film world, and especially the British film industry (which cannot be discussed without including his name), has lost an important presence.

 

On a related note, this is turning out to be a very difficult year in terms of lost actors and other personalities in the public eye.

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   I saw "The Great Escape" on July 4th, 1963. I knew all the American actors from "The Magnificent Seven" and James Donald from "The Vikings" but the Brits and Germans were all new to me.

   I thought that the fellow playing Big X was formidable. He was obviously nervous about the Gestapo and SS but determined to continue the good fight, even if it cost his own life. He was under considerable pressure (he snapped at a tardy Ashley-Pitt and snarled at MacDonald - "all the documents are dated today!") but tried to maintain professional authority to the men under his command. His last uncompleted sentence to Mac is almost heartbreaking.

   Anyway, I became a fan and even went to see "Guns at Batasi", "The Third Secret" and several others just because of his presence. He never disappointed.

   Vaya con Dios, Sir Richard.

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