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Stars hail a 'titan of British cinema'

By PA Reporters

Richard Attenborough was "an incredibly kind, generous and magnificently warm man" who was passionate about everything in life, said those who knew him.

A host of people from various walks of life have spoken fondly about Lord Attenborough, who dominated the British film business for more than half a century.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg said: "Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life – family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic Gandhi and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in Jurassic Park. He was a dear friend and I stand in an endless line of those who completely adored him."

Lord Attenborough was named a goodwill ambassador for Unicef in 1987.

Lord Puttnam, Unicef UK ambassador and long-time friend of Lord Attenborough, said: "Richard was an incredibly kind, generous and magnificently warm man whose strong social conscience was borne out in everything he did – from his films such as Gandhi, to his remarkable dedication and commitment to children across the world in his role as Unicef goodwill ambassador."

Sir Ben Kingsley, star of Attenborough's Oscar-winning epic Gandhi, said he had grown to love the director, who had worked tirelessly to bring the Indian leader's story to the big screen.

"He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him," said Sir Ben.

"I along with millions of others whom he touched through his life and work will miss him dearly."

Bafta described its former president as a "titan of British cinema" who set an example of "industry, skill and compassion" that business would do well to live up to.

British Film Institute chief executive Amanda Nevill said: "The world has lost a very, very special person."

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