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Published: Monday August 25, 2014 MYT 7:56:00 AM
Updated: Monday August 25, 2014 MYT 8:02:15 AM

Director and actor Richard Attenborough dies aged 90

LONDON, Aug 24, 2014 (AFP) - British director and actor Richard Attenborough has died aged 90 after a sparkling career spanning six decades, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said on Sunday.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of esteemed filmmaker and former BAFTA President, Lord Attenborough," the organisation wrote on Facebook.

Attenborough's "passionate support of BAFTA for more than 50 years was integral to who we are today. He will be sorely missed," BAFTA said.

Attenborough, who appeared in movies such as "Brighton Rock", "The Great Escape" and "Jurassic Park", in a career spanning six decades, died on Sunday lunchtime, his son told broadcaster BBC.

"His acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning - Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema," British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter.

Attenborough, who won eight Oscars for the 1982 movie "Gandhi", including best film and best director, was born in Cambridge in 1923.

A member of the British House of Lords with the Labour party, Attenborough was celebrated on Twitter by many who had known him.

"Very sad to learn of death of Richard Attenborough, a fine man in every way. Proud that he was a Labour peer," wrote Labour leader in the house Janet Royall.

"Really sad news death Richard Attenborough brilliant actor film director," wrote former cabinet minister Peter Hain. "Stalwart lovely man & friend".

The brother of famous wildlife presenter David, Attenborough had three children with his wife Sheila, who he had married aged 21.

Increasingly frail after falling down the stairs at home, Attenborough moved into a care home with his wife towards the end of his life.

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