1. According to IMDb, “some believe Steven Spielberg cast Richard Attenborough as John Hammond to thank him for his support on Oscar night when Gandhi trounced E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
6. Attenborough’s film career began with an uncredited role as a deserting sailor in the Noel Coward wartime drama In Which We Serve (1942).
12. His breakthrough Hollywood role was in The Great Escape (1963), playing Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett, the head of the escape committee.
In real life, Attenborough was a Royal Air Force air gunner/photographer who served for three years during the Second World War, and flew missions over Europe.
14. Studio bosses apparently wanted Gandhi to be sexy, and to be played by Richard Burton.
18. Attenborough and his wife Sheila married in 1945.
24. Attenborough is survived by his naturalist/TV presenter brother David.
25. The brothers, who grew up in Leicester, were awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows from the University of Leicester in 2006.
Embrace, the university’s Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts, is named in his Honour.
Lord Attenborough: 1923 – 2014.
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