Tributes to Richard Attenborough, who filmed Brighton Rock in Welwyn Garden City

Richard Attenborough starred in Brighton Rock which was filmed at Welwyn Studios

Richard Attenborough starred in Brighton Rock which was filmed at Welwyn Studios - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to British actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, who filmed classic Brighton Rock at the former Welwyn Studios.

The former Welwyn Studios in Welwyn Garden City where Brighton Rock was filmed

The former Welwyn Studios in Welwyn Garden City where Brighton Rock was filmed - Credit: Archant

Affectionately known as ‘Dickie’ by colleagues and fans, Lord Attenborough died aged 90 yesterday (Sunday), just five days before his 91st birthday.

The film legend starred as psychopathic teenage hoodlum and sadistic anti-hero Pinkie Brown in 1947 movie Brighton Rock, which was based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene.

One of the most celebrated British films of its era, Brighton Rock was shot at Welwyn Studios in Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City.

It was screened last year at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield as part of the UH Arts film season.


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Howard Berry, who runs The Elstree Project, a county-based screen heritage venture, tweeted: “RIP Sir Richard Attenborough. He filmed the brilliant Brighton Rock in Hertfordshire’s ABPC Welwyn Studios.”

Hertsmere Borough Council leader and chairman of Elstree Studios, Morris Bright, knew the Jurassic Park star and Oscar-winning director of 1982 epic Gandhi.

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Councillor Bright tweeted: “Sad to hear Richard Attenborough has died. I was privileged to visit his home twice and to welcome him to @ElstreeStudios. A giant of cinema.”

Film director Edgar Wright, who shot Simon Pegg sci-fi comedy The World’s End in Welwyn Garden City, also paid tribute to the brother of TV broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

He tweeted: “If you only know the cuddly Attenborough in Jurassic Park, see him be just terrifying in Brighton Rock & 10 Rillington Place. Amazing actor.”

Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to the giant of British cinema.

In a statment, he said: “His acting in ‘Brighton Rock’ was brilliant, his directing of ‘Gandhi’ was stunning – Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema.”

Originally opened in 1928 as British Instructional Films, Welwyn Studios ran in Welwyn Garden City until the early 1950s.

During this time it produced a number of important British features starring such luminaries as Bela Lugosi, James Mason, Peter Ustinov, Alec Guinness and Margaret Rutherford, as well as a range of educational films.

Alfred Hitchcock also directed a couple of war propaganda shorts there.

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