Legendary 'Jurassic Park' Actor Sir Richard Attenborough Dead at 90

Richard AttenboroughSir Richard Attenborough, affectionately known around the world to those in both the theater and movie business as "Dickie," died on Sunday, according to a statement from his son. The legendary 90-year-old actor, director, and producer had been in poor health for some time.

While he had achieved major critical acclaim through his career (which began in the 1940s), it wasn't until 1992 when he achieved international face recognition by playing John Hammond, the eclectic theme park owner of Jurassic Park, who decided it was a good idea to bring dinosaurs back to life.

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American audiences may recognize as Kris Kringle too, in the mid-90s remake of Miracle on 34th Street, but his greatest claim to fame was the 1982 biopic Ghandi.That film took him a full 20 years to make, from its inception until they wrapped, but it won an impressive eight Oscars, including two for Attenborough as best director and for producing the best picture.

Other claims to fame include memorable roles in Brighton Rock and The Great Escape.He was also known for his tremendous work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and other humanitarian causes, and was knighted in 1976, receiving a life peerage 17 years later, becoming Baron Attenborough of Richmond upon Thames.

He was thought to be doing his best work when "trying to coax the finest work from actors." Little-known actor Ben Kingsley rose to fame after playing the title role of Ghandi, and Denzel Washington won an Oscar nomination for 1987's Cry Freedom.

Attenborough's good friend Steven Spielberg issued the following statement upon hearing about his death:

Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life -- family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic Ghandi and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in Jurassic Park. He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.

What do you think Sir Richard Attenborough will be remembered for most?

 

Image via Getty Images

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