‘Fascinating and yet approachable’

  • Agencies, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2014 23:47 IST

Hollywood celebrities like actor Ben Kingsley and director Steven Spielberg led homage to filmmaker Richard Attenborough, who died after prolonged illness.

Kingsley, who starred as Mahatma Gandhi in Attenborough’s Oscar-winning 1982 biopic “Gandhi”, said the filmmaker placed trust in him to play the role. “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.”

Spielberg, who cast Attenborough as a theme park developer in his 1993 hit film “Jurassic Park”, said the director was a passionate person.

“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 Gandhi,” Spielberg said.

Two British prime ministers were also among those who offered tributes to Attenborough.

“Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema,” said Cameron on Twitter, praising his star-making performance in 1947 classic “Brighton Rock”.

Former prime minister Tony Blair, whose Labour Party appointed Attenborough to the House of Lords, said it had been “a privilege to know” the veteran performer. He was a “fabulously successful yet humble and utterly without arrogance of any kind; possessing enormous compassion and humanity; gifted, creative, fascinating and yet approachable and good fun,” he added.

Football club Chelsea, of which Attenborough was a lifelong supporter, also paid tribute to the director. “His personality was woven into the tapestry of the club over seven decades. He was a consistent force for good at the club, even in dark times,” the club said in a statement.

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