British actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough died today at the age of 90. He was five days short of his 91st birthday. His family has not yet released a cause of death, but has said there will be a full statement forthcoming.
Attenborough’s career began in the 1940s, and he worked into the early years of the 2000s in smaller and smaller roles. He is perhaps best known worldwide for films made in his later years, such as Jurassic Park or the remake of Miracle on 34th Street. In 1983 he won two Academy Awards for the film Ghandi, for Best Picture and Best Director.
In addition to his work in film, Lord Attenborough was also the President of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign, which is dedicated to fighting muscle-wasting diseases in the UK. He was also an admirer of Thomas Paine and a believer in universal education, which led to his support of the United World Colleges movement. He founded the Jane Holland Creative Centre for Learning at Waterfor Kamhlabla in Swaziland in memory of his daughter, Jane, who died in the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.
Lord Attenborough was knighted in 1976 and made a lifetime peer in 1993. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Sims, and his children Michael and Charlotte.