Lord Attenborough memorial service


Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A memorial service will take place today for actor and Oscar-winning film director Richard Attenborough.

Film veteran Lord Attenborough, who dominated the British film business for more than half a century, died last August at the age of 90.

The service of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey, central London, is expected to be attended by his brother, TV wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough; Sir Ben Kingsley, the star of Gandhi – which Attenborough directed – and actor Tom Hiddleston.

A host of politicians, Hollywood stars and industry leaders reflected on the life and times of Lord Attenborough after his death last year.

Born in Cambridge in 1923, he championed the British film industry through its triumphs and trials, enjoying success as one of Britain’s leading actors before becoming a celebrated director and prolific movie-maker.

His career highlights included appearing in 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park and clinching eight Oscars for 1982 film Gandhi, including best film and best director.

As an actor he was respected enough for top directors Satyajit Ray and Steven Spielberg to lure him out of self-imposed retirement to appear respectively in The Chess Players and Jurassic Park.

Spielberg, who chose Lord Attenborough to be ”the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life” in the films, said he wa s just one person in a long line of ”Dickie’s” fans.

Lord Attenborough married the actress Sheila Sim when he was 21. His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by two daughters, Jane and Charlotte.

Tragedy struck on Boxing Day 2004 when his elder daughter Jane Holland, and her daughter, Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, were killed in the south-Asian tsunami.

Michael is a theatre director and former artistic director of the Almeida Theatre in Islington, north London, and Charlotte is an actress.

Lord Attenborough struck up a friendship with Diana, Princess of Wales, after the Prince of Wales asked him to help her write speeches.

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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