Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough (born 29 August 1923) is an English actor, director, producer and entrepreneur. He is the current President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). As a film director and producer, he won two Academy Awards for Gandhi in 1982. He has also won four BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. As an actor he is perhaps best known for his roles in Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, 10 Rillington Place and Jurassic Park.
Attenborough was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, the eldest of three sons of Mary Attenborough, and Frederick Levi Attenborough; and was educated at Wyggeston Grammer School for Boys in Leicester and at RADA. He is the elder brother of naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.
During the Second World War Attenborough served in the Royal Air Force. After initial pilot training he was seconded to the newly-formed RAF Film Unit at Pinewood Studios. He then volunteered to fly with the Film Unit and after further training, where he sustained permanent ear-damage, qualified as a sergeant, flying on several missions over Europe filming from the rear-gunners position to record the outcome of Bomber Command sorties.
Attenborough’s film career began in 1942 as a deserting sailor in In Which We Serve, a role which would help to type-cast him for many years as spivs or cowards until his breakthrough role as a psychopathic young gangster in the film of Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock (1947), a part that he had previously played to great acclaim at the Garrick Theatre in 1942. In the late 1950s, Attenborough formed a production company, Beaver Films, and began to build a profile as a producer.
Attenborough worked prolifically in British films for the next thirty years and in the 1950s appeared in several successful comedies. In the 1960s, he expanded his range of character roles in films such as Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and Guns at Batasi (1964), for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. In 1963 he appeared in the ensemble cast of The Great Escape as RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (“Big X”), the head of the escape committee. It was his first appearance in a major Hollywood film blockbuster and his most successful film up to that time. In 1967 and 1968, he won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards in the category of Best Supporting Actor, for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle. He won another Golden Globe, for Best Director, for Gandhi in 1983.
His feature film directorial debut was the all-star screen version of the hit musical Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), and his acting appearances became more sporadic—the most notable being his exceptional portrayal of the serial killer John Christie in 10 Rillington Place (1971). He later directed two epic period films: Young Winston (1972), based on the early life of Winston Churchill, and A Bridge Too Far (1977), an all-star account of Operation Market Garden in World War II. He won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Director for his historical epic, Gandhi, a project he had been attempting to get made for many years. As the film’s producer, he also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. His most recent films as director and producer include Chaplin (1992) starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Charlie Chaplin and Shadowlands (1993), based on the relationship between C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. The star of the latter was Anthony Hopkins, who also appeared in four other films for Attenborough: Young Winston, A Bridge Too Far, Magic (1978) and Chaplin.
Attenborough also directed the screen version of the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the apartheid drama Cry Freedom (1987), based on the life and death of prominent anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko.
He took no acting roles following his appearance in Otto Preminger’s version of The Human Factor (1979) until his appearance as the eccentric developer John Hammond in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) and the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Since then he has made the occasional appearance in supporting roles. In 2006-07 Attenborough spent time in Belfast, Northern Ireland, working on his film as director and producer, Closing the Ring, which was set in Belfast during the Second World War.
In 1967, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was knighted in 1976 and in 1993 he was made a life peer as Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames. On Monday 23 April 2012 Pinewood Studios paid tribute to his body of work by naming a purpose-built film and television stage after him. The Richard Attenborough Stage has an area of 30,000 sq ft and increases stage capacity at the Studios by 7%.
Stanley Winston (April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008) was an American visual effects supervisor, make-up artist, and film director. He was best known for his work in the Terminator series, the Jurassic Park series, Aliens, the Predator series, Iron Man, Edward Scissorhands and Avatar. He won four Academy Awards for his work.
Winston, a frequent collaborator with director James Cameron, owned several effects studios, including Stan Winston Digital. The established areas of expertise for Winston were in makeup, puppets and practical effects, but he had recently expanded his studio to encompass digital effects as well.
Stan Winston was born on April 7, 1946, in Arlington, Virginia, where he graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 1964. He studied painting and sculpture at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from which he graduated in 1968. In 1969, after attending California State University, Long Beach, Winston moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor. Struggling to find an acting job, he began a makeup apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studios.
In 1972, Winston established his own company, Stan Winston Studio, and won an Emmy Award for his effects work on the telefilm Gargoyles. Over the next seven years, Winston continued to receive Emmy nominations for work on projects and won another for 1974’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Winston also created the Wookie costumes for the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
In 1982, Winston received his first Oscar nomination for Heartbeeps, by which time he had set up his own studio. However, his ground-breaking work with Rob Bottin on the science fiction horror classic The Thing that year brought him to prominence in Hollywood. Between then, he contributed some visual effects to Friday the 13th Part III, in which he made a slightly different head sculpt of Jason in an unused ending.
In 1983 he also worked on a short-lived TV series Manimal. However, Winston reached a new level of fame in 1984 when James Cameron’s The Teminator premiered. The movie was a surprise hit, and Winston’s work in bringing the titular metallic killing machine to life led to many new projects and additional collaborations with Cameron. In fact, Winston won his first Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1986 on James Cameron’s next movie, Aliens.
Over the next few years, Winston and his company received more accolades for its work on many more Hollywood films, including Edward Scissorhands, Predator, Alien Nation, The Monster Squad and Predator 2.
In 1988, Winston made his directorial debut with the horror movie Pumpkinhead, and won Best First Time Director at the Paris Film Festival. His next directing project was the child-friendly A Gnome Named Gnorm (1990), starring Anthony Michael Hall.
James Cameron drafted Winston and his team once again in 1990, this time for the groundbreaking Terminator 2: Judgement Day. T2 premiered in the summer of 1991, and Winston’s work on this box office hit won him two more Oscars for Best Makeup Effects and Best Visual Effects.
In 1992, he was nominated with another Tim Burton film, Batman Returns, where his effects on Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and in delivering Burton’s general vision for what was an increasingly Gothic Gotham City earned him more recognition for his work ethic and loyalty to what was an intrinsic ability to bring different directors’ ideas to life.
Winston turned his attention to dinosaurs when Steven Spielberg enlisted his help to bring Jurassic Park to the screen in 1993. The movie became a blockbuster and Winston won another Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
In 1993, Winston, Cameron and ex-ILM General Manager Scott Russ co-founded Digital Domain, one of the foremost digital and visual effects studios in the world. In 1998, after the box office success of Titanic, Cameron and Winston severed their working relationship with the company and resigned from its board of directors.
Winston and his team continued to provide effects work for many more films and expanded their work into animatronics. Some of Winston’s notable animatronics work can be found in The Ghost and the Darkness and T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, James Cameron’s 3-D continuation of the Terminator series for the Universal Studios theme park. One of Winston’s most ambitious animatronics projects was Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence, which earned Winston another Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.
In 1996, Winston directed and co-produced the longest and the most expensive music video of all time, Ghosts, which was based on an original concept of Michael Jackson and Stephen King.
In 2001, Winston, together with Colleen Camp and Samuel Z. Arkoff’s son, Lou Arkoff, produced a series of made-for-cable films for Cinemax and HBO. The five films, referred to as Creature Features, were inspired by the titles of AIP monster movies from the 1950s — i.e., Earth vs. the Spider (1958), How to Make a Monster (1958), Day the World Ended (1955), The She-Creature (1956), and Teenage Caveman (1958) — but had completely different plots.
In 2003, Stan Winston was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to speak about his life and career in a public presentation sponsored by The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
In 2004, he expressed great disappointment when director Paul W. S. Anderson did not come to him for the creature effects for Alien vs. Predator, seeing as how he designed the Predator and the Alien Queen. “They’re like my children to me,” he stated
Stan Winston died on June 15, 2008, in Malibu, California after suffering for seven years from multiple myeloma. A spokeswoman reported that he “died peacefully at home surrounded by family.” His special effects still live on through his studio Stan Winston Studios, now renamed Legacy Effects, continuing to work on films after his death such as Pandorum, GI. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Avatar, Enthiran, and Shutter Island thus continuing his legacy.
After two forays into more serious dramatic films, Spielberg then directed the third Indiana Jones film, 1989’s ‘Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade’. Once again teaming up with Lucas and Ford, Spielberg also cast actor Sean Connery in a supporting role as Indy’s father. The film earned generally positive reviews and was another box office success, becoming the highest grossing film worldwide that year; its total box office receipts even topped those of Tim Burton’s much-anticipated Batman film, which had been the bigger hit domestically. Also in 1989, he re-united with actor Richard Dreyfuss for the romantic comedy-drama ‘Always’, about a daredevil pilot who extinguishes forest fires. Spielberg’s first romantic film, Always was only a moderate success and had mixed reviews.
In 1991, Spielberg directed ‘Hook’, about a middle-aged Peter Pan, played by Robin Williams, who returns to Neverland. Despite innumerable rewrites and creative changes coupled with mixed reviews, the film proved popular with audiences, making over $300 million worldwide (from a $70 million budget).
In 1993, Spielberg returned to the adventure genre with the film version of Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Jurassic Park’, about a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs. With revolutionary special effects provided by friend George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic company, the film would eventually become the highest grossing film of all time (at the worldwide box office) with $914.7 million. This would be the third time that one of Spielberg’s films became the highest grossing film ever.
Spielberg’s next film, ‘Schindler’s List’, was based on the true story of Oskar Schindler’, a man who risked his life to save 1,100 Jews from the Holocaust. Schindler’s List earned Spielberg his first Academy Award for Best Director (it also won Best Picture). With the film a huge success at the box office, Spielberg used the profits to set up the Shoah Foundation, a non-profit organization that archives filmed testimony of Holocaust survivors. In 1997, the American Film Institute listed it among the 10 Greatest American Films ever Made (#9) which moved up to (#8) when the list was remade in 2007.
In 1994, Spielberg took a hiatus from directing to spend more time with his family and build his new studio, DreamWorks, with partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffin. In 1997, he helmed the sequel to 1993’s Jurassic Park with ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’, which generated over $618 million worldwide despite mixed reviews, and was the second biggest hit of 1997 behind James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ (which topped the original Jurassic Park to become the new recordholder for box office receipts).
His next film, ‘Amistad’, was based on a true story (like Schindler’s List), specifically about an African slave rebellion. Despite decent reviews from critics, it did not do well at the box office. Spielberg released Amistad under DreamWorks Pictures, which issued all of his films from Amistad until the awful mis-step ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ in May 2008.
His next theatrical release in that same year was the World War II film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, about a group of U.S. soldiers led by Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) sent to bring home a paratrooper whose three older brothers were killed in the last twenty four hours of action in France. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over $481 million worldwide and was the biggest film of the year at the North American box office. Spielberg won his second Academy Award for his direction. The film’s graphic, realistic depiction of combat violence influenced later war films such as ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Enemy at the Gates’. The film was also the first major hit for DreamWorks, which co-produced the film with Paramount Pictures (as such, it was Spielberg’s first release from the latter that was not part of the Indiana Jones series). Later, Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced a TV mini-series based on Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers. The ten-part HBO mini-series follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The series won a number of awards at both the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.
In 2001, Spielberg filmed fellow director and friend Stanley Kubrick’s final project, ‘A. I. Artificial Intelligence’ which Stanley Kubrick was unable to begin during his lifetime. A futuristic film about a humanoid android longing longing for love, A.I. featured groundbreaking visual effects and a multi-layered, allegorical storyline, adapted by Spielberg himself. Though the film’s reception in the US was relatively muted, it performed better overseas for a worldwide total box office gross of $236 million.
Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise collaborated for the first time for the futuristic neo-noir ‘Minority Report’, based upon a short story by Philip K. Dick about a Washington D.C. police captain in the year 2054 who has been foreseen to murder a man he has not yet met. The film earned over $358 million worldwide. Roger Ebert, who who named it the best film of 2002, praised its breathtaking vision of the future as well as for the way Spielberg blended CGI with live-action.
Spielberg’s 2002 film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is about the daring adventures of a youthful con artist (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). It earned Christopher Walken Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film is known for John Williams’ score and its unique title sequence. It was a hit both commercially and critically.