1923 - 2014
Richard Attenborough was born on August 29th, 1923, at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He was an English actor, film director, producer and entrepreneur.
Before he pursued his talents, Attenborough served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. His acting career began on stage at Leicester's Little Theatre, Dover Street. He would later be cast in Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap", which became the world's longest-running stage production. In 1942, he began appearing in films, which lead to roles in Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, and Jurassic Park. He also directed films, including Gandhi, which he won Academy Awards for.
Richard was the older brother of David Attenborough; the famous naturalist and broadcaster. Since 1945 he was married to actress Shelia Sim.
On August 24th, 2014, Richard Attenborough passed away at the age of 90. While only most of us could even hope to live a full and wonderful life that long, the news still hit me hard. It is always an odd thing for a fan of an actor to feel so strongly after their passing, when they never even truly knew them. Or is it?
While I never even met Richard once in my life, he appeared in it quite frequently one way or another. Of course, most prominently, was seeing his role in Jurassic Park. This was due to the sheer amount of times I would watch that film over and over again growing up; and still do to this day. Then of course I would catch him in other films that I came across. In high school I even starred in the play called "The Mousetrap" (as Christopher Wren), which Richard was originally cast in (as Sergent Trotter). It was my favorite play I ever had done.
When I decided to create Jurassic Time: The Memoir of John Parker Hammond, that was when I would really get close to one of his performances. John Hammond may have been a memorable role in the films, but it wasn't until I spent time organizing his dialogue from Trespasser- The Lost World: Jurassic Park that I really felt Richard got to complete his role. With the spotlight completely on the character, he was able to explore it in a nuanced and introspective way that was only hinted at on the big screen. The fact that I did several versions of this audio presentation, spending hours upon hours listening to his voice, I felt like I got to know the performance very well.
I may have never known Richard, but even in acting there is part of one's soul out there for the world to see. No performance is without the person.
Part of the main reason why I created Hammond's Memoir was to preserve a performance that would have otherwise been lost in an old game's files. If you haven't already, be sure to listen to the audio program. Prepare to be swept away by Richard Attenborough's magnificent, heartfelt reading.
-Derrick Davis, Creator of Jurassic Time, August, 2014