7 Things You May Not Know About Richard Attenborough

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Screen legend Richard Attenborough passed away yesterday at the age of 90, eliciting numerous tributes, remembrances and retrospectives around the world. While reminiscing about his life and work, consider these seven things you may not have known about the Oscar-winner.

1. Attenborough appeared in a propaganda film titled Journey Together while serving as a pilot in the Second World War.

2. Attenborough’s official title was “The Rt Hon. The Lord Attenborough, CBE.” His brother (pictured above earlier this year with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Dame Helen Mirren during a reception at Buckingham Palace), Sir David Attenborough, a naturalist and broadcaster, is revered alongside Princess Diana, William Shakespeare, and Florence Nightingale as one of the greatest Britons in history.

3. He’s an original cast member of the London production of The Mousetrap, which debuted in 1952 and is still playing, making it the longest-running theatre production in history.

4. Attenborough counted numerous actor and actresses among his family, including Gerald Sim (brother-in-law) Jane Seymour (pictured above with Michael Attenborough) and Karen Lewis (daughters-in-law) and Graham Sinclair (son-in-law). British media personality Emma Forbes is his goddaughter.

5. Attenborough didn’t just appear in the first two Jurassic Park films – his third stint as park creator John Hammond can still be enjoyed today – he appears in the opening video for the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios.

6. Jurassic Park isn’t the only major film franchise Attenborough wanted to be a part of. British newspaper The Guardian quotes the actor as replying, “Yes. Unless you get me Dumbledore,” to a question about whether or not he had retired. Attenborough also reportedly noted, “Of course, I’d love to play Dumbledore, but I haven’t been offered it.”

7. Only five other actors have ever won an Oscar for Best Director (Attenborough, pictured above, won in 1982 for Gandhi). The others: Robert Redford (Ordinary People, 1980), Warren Beatty (Reds, 1981), Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves, 1990), Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, 1992, Million Dollar Baby, 2004), Mel Gibson (Braveheart, 1995).