'Gandhi' director Richard Attenborough dies at 90

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2014 09:59 IST

Iconic film director Richard Attenborough, whose greatest achievement in his six decade-long film career was his 1982 epic Gandhi, has died aged 90.

Ben Kingsley, who played the title role in Gandhi, a movie that won eight Oscars, said he would 'miss him dearly', and added: "Richard Attenborough trusted me with the crucial and central task of bringing to life a dream it took him 20 years to bring to fruition."

"When he gave me the part of Gandhi it was with great grace and joy. He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him."

Attenborough appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War 2 prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape, and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

Attenborough, who was in a nursing home with his wife for several years, died on Sunday afternoon.

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning — Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."

A member of the House of Lords for Labour, the party said: "Lord Attenborough made an enormous contribution to our country and to the film industry both as an actor and a director. His films will be loved for generations to come."

Born in Cambridge in 1923, he started acting at the 12, making his professional stage debut aged 18. He married his wife, actress Sheila Sim, in 1945. His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by two daughters, Jane and Charlotte.

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