One of England’s most respected actors and directors, Sir Richard Attenborough has made numerous contributions to world cinema both in front of and behind the camera. The son of a Cambridge school administrator, Attenborough began dabbling in theatricals at the age of 12. While attending London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1941, he turned professional, making his first stage appearance in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! He made his screen debut as the Young Sailor in Noel Coward and David Lean’s In Which We Serve (1943), before achieving his first significant West End success as the punkish, cowardly, petty criminal Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock.
After three years of service with the Royal Air Force, Attenborough rose to film stardom in the 1947 film version of Brighton Rock — a role that caused him to be typecast as a working-class misfit over the next few years. One of the best of his characterizations in this vein can be found in The Guinea Pig (1948… read more