Lord Richard Attenborough
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador from 1987 to 2004
The much-honoured actor, producer and director Lord Richard Attenborough had a long and distinguished association with UNICEF.
Lord Attenborough became a Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and built his familiarity with UNICEF programmes and staff during the filming of Gandhi in India, during which special fundraising premiers helped raised over $1 million for the agency.
In 1994, Lord Attenborough undertook an extensive mission to Africa, campaigning for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2000, just after Mozambique had been devastated by floods, he visited the country to launch a joint appeal by UNICEF and the United Kingdom’s Observer newspaper.
Lord Attenborough was born in Cambridge, United Kingdom, on 29 August 1923. At the age of 17, he took up a Leverhulme Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. By 1942 he had made his screen debut, going on to star in almost 60 films, including Brighton Rock (1947), The Great Escape (1963), 10 Rillington Place (1971), Jurassic Park (1992) and The Lost World (1997). Lord Attenborough also ventured into independent production with innovative films such as The League of Gentlemen (1959) and The Angry Silence (1960).
In 1962, Lord Attenborough launched his quest to produce and direct a film on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Twenty years later, the epic swept both the American and British Academy Awards. In the meantime, he had built a significant reputation as a director, beginning with the controversial Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969. Other directorial highlights include Cry Freedom (1987), Chaplin (1992) and Shadowlands (1993).
Lord Attenborough died in London in 2014. He was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for 17 years.