Richard Attenborough dead: Fans confuse film legend for his brother, David Attenborough

People erroneously mourn the death of "famous nature documentarian David Attenborough", whose brother Richard died yesterday

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The Independent Online

They are both leaders in their field and two of the most eminent British figures the last century has seen, but some well-meaning sympathisers appear to have confused the death of director Richard Attenborough with his naturalist brother, David.

As is usual in these instances of death and public mourning, thousands of people have taken to social media to post their tributes of Lord Attenborough, who died yesterday at the age of 90.

He was a veteran actor and director, with credits ranging from Brighton Rock to Grey Owl and Gandhi.

However, despite his illustrious career, many people have innocently mistaken him for his brother and have mourned the passing of a “legendary nature documentarian”.


Sir David, 88, has narrated popular natural history programmes on the BBC for a number of decades, including Living Planet and the Private Life of Plants, and was also once Controller of BBC2 and Director of Programmes for the BBC.


Lord Attenborough died yesterday lunchtime after a long-time battle with illness – he had been living in a nursing home with his wife Sheila Sim and was being cared for full-time by staff.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “His acting in “Brighton Rock” was brilliant, his directing of “Gandhi” was stunning - Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.”

 Video: Richard Attenborough dies at the age of 90

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “He will be especially remembered for his decades of work standing up to the evil of apartheid, a campaign that made him a great friend of Nelson Mandela. Our thoughts are with his wife Sheila and his family.”

As other tributes also poured in for the legendary director, Tony Blair said “Dickie” was someone he looked up to and respected.