Richard Samuel Attenborough CBE

Richard Samuel Attenborough CBE (1923 - 2014)

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Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough CBE
Born in Cambridge, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of [private wife (1920s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Father of [private son (1950s - unknown)] and
Died in London, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Aug 2014 | Last significant change: 16 Mar 2018
13:59: Keith McDonald edited the Biography for Richard Attenborough CBE. (changed {{WW II}} to {{World War II}}) [Thank Keith for this]
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Categories: Famous Actors of the 20th Century | Academy Award Winners | Golden Globe Award Winners | Commanders of the Order of the British Empire | British Actors | Notables | Royal Air Force, World War II.

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Sgt Richard Attenborough CBE served in the Royal Air Force in World War II

Born 29 August 1923 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Richard Samuel Attenborough was an actor, producer, film director and entrepreneur. Best known for his roles in movies like Jurassic Park, Miracle on 34th Street and The Great Escape, Sir Richard was the recipient of four BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. He also won two Academy Awards for Ghandi which he directed and produced.

Eldest of three boys, his parents were Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator, and Mary Clegg, a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council. In 1939, the Attenboroughs took in two German-Jewish refuge girls whom they later adopted when it was discovered their parents had been killed.

During World War II, Sir Richard served with the Royal Air Force. After training he was sent to the RAF Film Unit and flew several missions over Europe filming from the rear gunner's seat. He qualified as a sergeant and also suffered permanent ear damage from the experience.

His role as "Big X", the head of the escape committee, in The Great Escape was his first appearance in a Hollywood blockbuster and his most successful role up to that point. In 1971 he played serial killer John Christie in 10 Rillington Place, a role which earned him excellent reviews. Another big role for Sir Richard, was as developer John Hammond in two of the Jurassic Park movies.

Sir Richard served as President of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign and after 33 years, they made him the Honorary Life President in 2004. He was also a longtime advocate of education that does not judge upon colour, race, creed or religion. He had a life-long ambition to make a film about his hero the political theorist and revolutionary Thomas Paine, whom he called "one of the finest men that ever lived". He said in an interview in 2006 that "I could understand him. He wrote in simple English. I found all his aspirations - the rights of women, the health service, universal education... Everything you can think of that we want is in Rights of Man or The Age of Reason or Common Sense."[1]

Sir Richard died 24 August 2014, just five days before his 91st birthday.


  1. "Wikipedia: 'Richard Attenborough'"

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No known carriers of Richard's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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On 25 Aug 2014 at 15:13 GMT Matt Pryber wrote:

According to Wikipedia he was married to Sheila Beryl Grant Sim. she was born 5 June 1922 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England and they had three children Michael 13 February 1950,

Jane 30 September 1955-26 December 2004

Charlotte (b. 29 June 1959)

Richard's parents were Mary Clegg and Frederick Levi Attenborough.

Richard had at least two siblings David Frederick born 8 May 1926 in Isleworth,London

and John Michael January 1, 1928 – 9 November 2012

Richard is 24 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 55 degrees from Stephen Hawking, 28 degrees from Jamie Nelson and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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