BRITISH actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.

He died at lunchtime on Sunday, his son told the BBC.

Lord Attenborough was one of Britain's leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director.

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He appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War Two thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

He won two Academy Awards as director of Gandhi in 1983.

He was the older brother of Sir David Attenborough, and the late John Attenborough.

Lord Attenborough had moved into a care home with his wife Sheila Sim in March last year.

He was left wheelchair-bound after a fall in 2008, and his health continued to get worse.

His son Michael said at the time of his father's move to the accommodation in West London: “The family home has been sold and he has been at a care home with his wife since then.”

Michael said that since his father suffered a suspected stroke and went into a coma for several days in 2008 he had never fully recovered, finding it difficult to communicate and get himself around.

Tributes have already started coming in for the well-respected actor and director, with David Cameron describing him as "one of the greats of cinema".

Lord Attenborough was a lifelong Labour supporter.

Diana Abbot, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, tweeted tonight: "Richard Attenborough's unstinting and passionate support for the anti-apartheid struggle here and in South Africa will stand the test of time."