Lord Richard Attenborough, the actor turned Oscar-winning film director, has died.
Attenborough, whose younger brother was the nature broadcaster and former BBC executive David Attenborough, died at lunchtime today [Sunday].
Last year his family said that Attenborough had never fully recovered from a stroke he suffered five years ago, which left him in a coma for several days.
A much-loved figure in British film, Attenborough started his professional life as an actor with leading roles in films such as Brighton Rock and The Great Escape before forging a career as a film director.
His directorial debut was the 1969 anti-war musical Oh! What A Lovely War but his career highlight behind the camera was probably the 1983 film Gandhi which won eight Oscars including the statuette for best picture and best director.
He also made a memorable appearance in the 1993 movie Jurassic Park as dinosaur park developer John Hammond.
Lord Attenborough had three children with his wife the actress Sheila Sim who he married in 1945: theatre director Michael Attenborough, a daughter Charlotte who was an actress and their elder daughter, Jane, who died in the 2004 South Asian Boxing Day tsunami along with her daughter Lucy. Both Lord Attenborough and his wife were confined to the same Care Home at the time of his death.
Prime Minister David Cameron was one of the first people to pay tribute to Lord Attenborough, saying in a statement: “His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.”
Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said the organisation was “deeply saddened” by his death, adding: “Lord Attenborough occupies a special place in the hearts of so many and will be missed enormously.
“Our thoughts are with his family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this sad and difficult time.”