New Delhi: A jewel from Hollywood Richard Attenborough, a British Cinema Giant, died on Sunday August 25th at the age of 90. His son confirmed the demise and the world fell into an ocean of sorrow.
In the 70 years career Richard Attenborough proved his impeccable imagination as a director, an actor and a producer.
Before he stepped into direction and gave his first Hollywood feature in 1960 Mr. Attenborough was a renowned actor in Britain but was little known in the US. In London he played an original detective in Agatha Christie's play “The Mousetrap.” On the British screen, he played a sociopath Pinkie Brown in an adaptation of Graham Greene's “Brighton Rock” in 1947.
But there was a big milestone waiting for him at the doorstep. It knocked and Attenborough achieved it with great pleasure and enthusiasm. Here are some of his epic works that will always be looked upon for decades.
The Great Escape: It was a classic wartime thriller in which Attenborough starred with Steve McQueen and James Garner. Attenborough played Roger Bartlett “Big X,” who masterminded a major escape from Stalag Luft III at Sagan but died at the hands of the Gestapo after being caught at Saarbrucken railway station.
The Brighton Rock: Richard Attenborough played a 17-year old cruel small-time stone-hearted punk named Pinkie Brown in this British flick, which was made right after the World War 2. It was a dark gangster flick and was considered to be one of the brilliant British flicks ever made.
The Sand Pebbles: In 1966 Attenborough again starred opposite Steve McQueen of ‘The Great Escape'. Set during China's civil war in the 1920s Attenborough played a member of the crew of the USS San Pablo up the Yangtze River. It won him a Golden Globe Awards for best actor in a supporting role.
Doctor Dolittle: After ‘The Sand Pebbles', Attenborough again won Golden Globe Award for Doctor Dolittle made in 1967. He played Albert Blossom, a circus owner, alongside Rex Harrison as the veterinarian who talks to animals.
Shatranj Ke Khiladi- Richard Attenborough played the role of General James Outram in this Satyajeet Ray's directorial flick set in 1856, which shows the life and customs of 19th century India on the eve of the Indian rebellion of 1857.
Oh! What A Lovely War: Later in his career Attenborough devoted most of time in direction. Attenborough made his directorial debut with this satirical musical pointing out the tragic absurdities of the First World War.
A Bridge Too Far: Attenborough directed this World War II epic with an all-star cast including Dirk Bogarde, Gene Hackman and Laurence Olivier.
Gandhi: But in 1982 came a masterpiece. One of his greatest triumphs - Gandhi, starred little-known Ben Kingsley in the title role who quits his job and possession to lead his Britain dominated country-India in a fight for Independence. The flick got 11 nominations in Academy Awards and won eight, including best picture, director, cinematography, original screenplay and actor.
Cry Freedom- The 1987 directorial narrated the life of a campaigner Steve Biko who returned to his passion for social justice and the fight against oppression.
Jurrasic Park- Attenborough played a role of John Hammond in this Spielberg's directed Jurrasic Park, one of the best children's classic flicks ever made. As the visionary but unwary entrepreneur who creates Jurassic Park, a private island designed to exhibit cloned dinosaurs, resurrected through the wonders of genetic engineering, Attenborough gave one of his best performances.