While his life was filled with many career triumphs, the late Richard Attenborough will always be remembered for these ten examples of his undeniable talent.
Richard Attenborough was born in 1923 to a founding member of Britain's Marriage Guidance Council (a charity centering on advice for couples) and a scholar who wrote the standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. In World War II, he served with the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) film unit (where he recorded the outcome of Bomb Commander sorties) before taking to the stage. He would soon become one of Britain's biggest box office draws.
He costarred in the original production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, taking a ten percent profit-participation in the production. It would go on to set a world record as the longest running stage play in history (over 25,000 performances and still going strong) and during the '60s, he recorded triumphs in both hero and villain roles. He even earned back to back Golden Globes (for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Doolittle), becoming one of his homeland's most celebrated stars in the process.
Then, in 1969, he was asked to bring the celebrated antiwar musical Oh! What a Lovely War to the big screen, and from that moment on, Attenborough (who died last week at the age of 90) became as celebrated for his work behind the lens as his performances in front of it. During the '70s, he tackled subjects as divergent as WWII (A Bridge Too Far) and macabre mental illness (Magic). In 1982, he won an Oscar for helming Gandhi, was raked over the coals for his less than faithful take on the Broadway smash A Chorus Line, and celebrated the lives of Steven Biko and Charlie Chaplin with Oscar bait efforts about same.
Still, for all his pros and cons, his work both worthy and wasted, Attenborough remained decidedly and dedicatedly British. In celebration of his career, here are ten examples of his best work. Each one, no matter the final critical consensus, proves the man's talent and track record.