Richard Attenborough

\Phillip Massey/FilmMagic

Richard Attenborough, an Oscar-winning British director of Gandhi and actor who starred in films such as Jurassic Park, has died at age 90.

He passed away on Sunday, his son, one of his three children, told BBC News. He is also survived by his wife Sheila, who lived with him in a nursing home.

British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Attenborough on Twitter.

One of Attenborough's best-known roles in the United States was that of John Hammond, the white bearded CEO of a the bioengineering company that helped create the island theme park that housed the dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. He reprised his role in a 1997 sequel, The Lost World.

Richard Attenborough

Murray Close/Getty Images

Attenborough began his acting career at age 12, BBC News reported. He made his big screen debut in 1942, in the midst of World War II, with a role in In Which We Serve. He also played gang leader Pinkie Brown in the 1947 film Brighton Rock and a World War II POW in the 1963 movie The Great Escape.

The actor directed the 1982 film Gandhi, which starred Ben Kingsley as famed Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi. The latter film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture and an individual award for Attenborough for Best Director. He also directed Robert Downey Jr. in the 1992 film Chaplin, in which the actor portrayed Hollywood comedy icon Charlie Chaplin.

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