Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$20 Million
Aug 29, 1923 - Aug 24, 2014 (90 years old)
5 ft 7 in (1.702 m)
Film director, Actor, Film Producer, Entrepreneur
United Kingdom
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What Was Richard Attenborough's Net Worth?

Richard Attenborough, Baron Attenborough Kt, CBE, FRSA was an English actor, director, producer, author, and entrepreneur who had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 2014. Richard Attenborough served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He made his show business debut onstage with Leicester's Little Theatre and his movie debut in 1942's "In Which We Serve." By 1949, he was one of the ten most popular British actors at the box office. Attenborough was most famous for his roles in "The Great Escape" (1963), "Miracle on 34th Street" (1994), "10 Rillington Place" (1971), and "Jurassic Park" (1993), and he won several awards for directing and producing 1982's "Gandhi," including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and a Golden Globe. Richard also directed the films "Oh! What a Lovely War" (1969), "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), "A Chorus Line" (1985), "Cry Freedom" (1987), "Chaplin" (1992), "Shadowlands" (1993), and "In Love and War" (1996), and he produced several of those films as well. Attenborough had more than 70 acting credits to his name, such as "Dunkirk" (1958), "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965), "And Then There Were None" (1974), "Hamlet" (1996), "Elizabeth" (1998), and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (1999).

Attenborough published the 2008 book "Entirely Up to You, Darling," which he co-wrote with his friend and colleague Diana Hawkins. Richard served as the president of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign, a patron of the United World Colleges movement, and the director of the Chelsea Football Club. Attenborough was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, and a Knight Bachelor in 1976, and in 1993, he was named Baron Attenborough. He also received France's Legion of Honour as well as the Order of Arts and Letters, and the South African government honored him with the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo "for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid." Richard died in August 2014 at the age of  90.

Early Life

Richard Attenborough was born Richard Samuel Attenborough on August 29, 1923, in Cambridge, England. He was the son of Mary Clegg and Frederick Levi Attenborough, and he had two younger brothers, David and John. Mary co-founded the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick was a scholar who served as the principal of University College, Leicester. David Attenborough is an Emmy-winning broadcaster and naturalist, and John was a motor industry executive. Richard attended Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1939, the Attenborough family took in two young Jewish refugees from Germany, and they adopted the girls, Irene and Helga Bejach, after the war ended and it was discovered that their parents had died. During World War II, Richard served in the Royal Air Force. He initially trained as a pilot, but he was assigned to the Royal Air Force Film Production Unit, which was located at Pinewood Studios. During his time at Pinewood Studios, Attenborough appeared in the 1945 propaganda film "Journey Together" with Edward G. Robinson. After volunteering to fly with the Film Unit, Richard permanently damaged his ear while undergoing further training. He qualified as a sergeant and flew on many operations over Europe, sitting in the rear gunner's position to film the outcome of Royal Air Force Bomber Command attacks.


Richard began his acting career onstage, appearing in productions at Leicester's Little Theatre before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He made his onscreen debut in the 1952 film "In Which We Serve," and he followed it with "Schweik's New Adventures" (1943), "The Hundred Pound Window" (1944), "Journey Together" (1945), "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946), "School for Secrets" (1946), "The Man Within" (1947), "Brighton Rock" (1948), and "Boys in Brown" (1949). At the end of the decade, he was voted the sixth most popular box office attraction by British exhibitors. In the '50s, Attenborough appeared in nearly 20 films, including "Morning Departure" (1950), "The Magic Box" (1951), "Gift Horse" (1952), "Eight O'Clock Walk" (1954), "Brothers in Law" (1957), "The Scamp" (1957), "Dunkirk" (1958), "The Man Upstairs" (1958), "Danger Within" (1959), and "SOS Pacific" (1959). In the '60s, Richard produced "The Angry Silence" (1960), "Whistle Down the Wind" (1961), "The L-Shaped Room" (1962), and "Séance on a Wet Afternoon" (1964) and starred in "The League of Gentlemen" (1960), "Only Two Can Play" (1962), "All Night Long" (1962), "Séance on a Wet Afternoon" (1964), "Guns at Batasi" (1964), "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965), "Doctor Dolittle" (1967), and "The Magic Christian" (1969). He also co-starred with Steve McQueen and James Garner in 1963's "The Great Escape," which earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.

Attenborough made his directorial debut with 1969's "Oh! What a Lovely War," which he also produced. He then directed and produced 1972's "Young Winston" and directed 1977's "A Bridge Too Far" and 1978's "Magic." He appeared in the films "The Last Grenade" (1970), "10 Rillington Place" (1971), "And Then There Were None" (1974), "Brannigan" (1975), "Rosebud" (1975), and "The Human Factor" (1979), then he won numerous awards for directing and producing 1982's "Gandhi." He did not appear in any films in the '80s, but he directed 1985's "A Chorus Line" and 1987's "Cry Freedom." Richard directed and produced 1992's "Chaplin," 1993's "Shadowlands," 1996's "In Love and War," and 1999's "Grey Owl," and he made his return to film as John Hammond in 1993's "Jurassic Park." The film grossed $1.046 billion at the box office, and Attenborough reprised his role in 1997's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." In the '90s, he also played Kris Kringle in "Miracle on 34th Street" (1994) and appeared in "E=mc2" (1996), "Hamlet" (1996), "Elizabeth" (1998), and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (1999). Attenborough's final film as an actor was 2002's "Puckoon," and his last film as a director was 2007's "Closing the Ring."

Richard Attenborough

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Personal Life

Richard married actress Sheila Sim on January 22, 1945, and they welcomed three children together, daughters Jane (born 1955) and Charlotte (born 1959) and son Michael (born 1950). Michael is married to actress Karen Lewis, and he has served as the  artistic director of London's Almeida Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Charlotte is an actress, and she is married to actor Graham Sinclair. Sadly, Jane, her daughter Lucy, and her mother-in-law were killed in a tsunami in Thailand on December 26, 2004. Her other children, Samuel and Alice, survived. Attenborough described that day as "the worst day of [his] life." Richard had a collection of Picasso ceramics from the '50s, and over 100 items from his collection were displayed at Leicester's New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in 2007. The exhibition was dedicated to his family members who died in the tsunami.

Illness and Death

In August 2008, Richard was admitted to the hospital with heart problems and had a pacemaker inserted. A few months later, he fell at his home after suffering a stroke and was treated at  St George's Hospital in South West London. In the following years, he sold a good portion of his art collection (which Sotheby's auctioned off for £4.6 million) as well as his home on the Scottish Isle of Bute. Attenborough was confined to a wheelchair after his 2008 stroke, and in 2012, Richard and his wife moved into Denville Hall, a retirement home for professional actors, six months apart. Attenborough passed away there on August 24, 2014, at the age of 90. He was cremated, and his ashes were interred at Richmond's St Mary Magdalene church in a vault beside the ashes of his daughter Jane and granddaughter Lucy.

Awards and Nominations

In 1983, Attenborough won two Academy Awards for "Gandhi," Best Director and Best Picture. He received a BAFTA Award Academy Fellowship in 1983, and he won BAFTA Awards for Best British Actor for "Guns at Batasi" and "S̩ance on a Wet Afternoon" (1965), Best Film and Best Direction for "Gandhi" (1983), and the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film for "Shadowlands" (1994). Richard earned five Golden Globe nominations, winning Best Supporting Actor for "The Sand Pebbles" (1967) and "Doctor Dolittle" (1968) and Best Director РMotion Picture for "Gandhi" (1983). His other nominations were for Best Director РMotion Picture for "A Chorus Line" (1986) and "Cry Freedom" (1988). Attenborough received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Gold Derby Awards (2009), Chicago International Film Festival (2000), and Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (1999), and he was posthumously inducted into the Online Film & Television Association Hall of Fame in 2021. He won a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for "Gandhi," and the film earned him David di Donatello Awards for Best Foreign Producer and Best Foreign Film. Richard was awarded India's Padma Bhushan (1983), the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change's Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolence Peace Prize (1983), the Alfred Toepfer Foundation's Shakespeare Prize (1992), and an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from Glasgow's Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (2008). He was made a Fellow of King's College London in 1993 and a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the University of Leicester in 2006.

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