Page last updated at 00:20 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Attenborough 'stable' after fall

Lord Attenborough
Lord Attenborough is recovering in St George's Hospital, south-west London

Lord Attenborough is in a stable condition after an accident at home, a hospital spokesman has said.

The 85-year-old actor and director had to pull out of a ceremony in honour of Brief Encounter actress Celia Johnson on Thursday after suffering a fall.

He had been due to unveil an English Heritage blue plaque at her former home in Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, where Lord Attenborough also lives.

He is recovering in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south-west London.

The plaque was being unveiled on the anniversary of Johnson's birth.

But a spokeswoman for the event said Lord Attenborough was unable to attend, having had the accident earlier in the week.

Born in Cambridge in 1923, Richard Attenborough has championed the British film industry for more than 60 years as an actor, Oscar-winning director and prolific movie-maker.

Steely determination

Gandhi is the highlight of his remarkable career, clinching eight Oscars, including best film and best director.

A highly emotional character, he is lampooned in the art world as the "original luvvy" who is easily moved to tears.

But his public image belies a steely determination that took him from being a powerful character actor in films such as Brighton Rock and 10 Rillington Place to director of films such as Young Winston and A Bridge Too Far.

He married the actress Sheila Sim when he was 21. His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by daughters Jane and Charlotte.

In 2004, Jane was killed, along with her daughter, Lucy, and mother-in-law, also Jane, in the south-Asian tsunami.

Lord Attenborough is the older brother of TV wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough.

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