Local Scene News

We have new feeds added From Charleston Underground and The Defintley Loud Podcast!!


These two cover much of the local art and music scene and if you are from out of town this will give you a great heads up on what goes on in Charleston and the Rest of WV.
You can Read it here on the Empty Glass site or click on the Links and read if on the on the original Site.
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Essay: Emmys owe TV newcomers a better chance 

By FRAZIER MOOREAP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - There was something embarrassing about the rash of repeat treating on Monday's Emmycast. It might have left viewers wondering if they had stumbled on a rerun of last year's show, or the one before that. Or maybe an awards show equivalent of "Groundhog Day."

Count `em up: Bryan Cranston's fourth best-drama Emmy for "Breaking Bad," his co-star Aaron Paul's third supporting-actor trophy, and the second best-drama salute for the show. There was a fourth statuette for Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), the third in a row for Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep"), the fifth straight for "Modern Family."
Nothing against these winners, especially the honors-showered "Breaking Bad," the finest drama series in recent television history. But repeat recognition can become wretched excess. Monday's Emmycast might have left viewers wondering whether anything new on TV happened last season.
The prime-time Emmys, bestowed for 66 years, are meant to celebrate excellence in television. But in Emmy's eyes, excellence too often takes the form of stamina, not the burst of inspiration that may have launched a series and its characters many seasons earlier and since settled into routine. Too often, Emmy celebrates not excellence, but an excellently maintained status quo.
Here's one instance of voluntary restraint: In 1996, Candice Bergen withdrew from consideration as a nominee for her starring role in the sitcom "Murphy Brown." By then, she had raked in five Emmys and wanted to give others a chance. Enough was enough, she reasoned.
Perhaps the Television Academy should have taken a cue from her example.
Or maybe it should go even further and impose a total ban on re-Emmying, allowing any program and the individuals attached a maximum of one Emmy apiece through the full run of the show. One and done, with no more nominations. After that, only a clear and demonstrable change in a series, or in a character or other aspect of the series, would allow nomination for an encore award.
As radical as this change would be, other awards come with much tougher rules: Any book, record, film or Broadway show gets its one crack at a Pulitzer, Grammy, Oscar or Tony the year it's released. There's no reconsidering the project a year later, just because it's still around.
Sure, TV is different. Unlike other art forms, TV consists mostly of open-ended series that unfold episodically and aim to span more than a single season. That's the nature of the medium. Except this has somehow bred a system where each series can score a new round of awards with every lap of the same race.
Granted, this plan would be about as popular among those in charge, and be as readily adopted, as term limits for members of Congress. In Hollywood as in Washington, the people who would most directly benefit from such reform would be not the satisfied incumbents, but outsiders.
On Monday night, Matthew McConaughey, of all people, was exposed as an outsider. As Tim Molloy notes in The Wrap, even this Oscar winner and Hollywood golden boy couldn't break into the Emmy winners circle.
"The main criteria for winning an Emmy this year," Molloy writes, "seemed to be having one already."
But it wasn't just this year. It's the situation year after year with Emmy voters, helpless creatures of habit.
While acknowledging that Cranston's work in last season's "Breaking Bad" was splendid, can anyone make a convincing argument that his ongoing portrayal of meth kingpin Walter White in a fifth season outshined McConaughey's achievement in creating from scratch the dual personas of Detective Rust Cohle on the freshman HBO series "True Detective"?
With so much great TV that deserves consideration, the Emmys should make a big change from treating the same stars and shows like shiny objects to adore year after year just because they haven't faded.
Or the Academy could change the rules another way, and anoint "Breaking Bad" for more awards again next year, never mind it's off the air. Just out of habit.
--
EDITOR'S NOTE - Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore

W.Va. arts, historic preservation grants awarded 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Sixty programs that support the arts and historic preservation have been awarded more than $1.4 million in state grants.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announcing the funding Tuesday.

A dozen grants totaling $724,000 went to long-standing arts groups in seven counties.

Thirty-one grants in 18 counties totaling $294,000 will support projects that offer arts programming to the public or strengthen arts organizations.

An additional $423,000 will go to 17 groups in 14 counties to protect West Virginia's historic architecture and resources.

Just Married 

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Mel and Rudy in Chicago,at the National Mall

Hey, y’know that top secret project I’ve been talking about all week?

Well, if all goes according to plan, by the time you read this, Melanie Larch and I will have become a married couple. And to think, it only took 24 years for us to tie the knot. With all our elder-care commitments fulfilled and no other obstacles in our path, we can finally be together.

The ceremony is to have taken place Tuesday morning on the Stage of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. We wanted a quiet ceremony in a special place, and that fit the bill perfectly. Every PopCult post that has been published since last week was written on Wednesday, August 20. That’s why the tense is all wonky.

If you’re wondering why we decided to get married in Chicago, there are many reasons. First of all, I hate cermonies. I just can’t stand the pomp and circumstance and other related BS that fuels the Wedding Industrial Complex. I just want to be with the woman I love. I don’t want to go through the Spanish Inquisition.

On top of that, Melanie and I didn’t feel right getting married in a state that does not allow all of our friends the same right. I know it’s inevitable that marriage equality will come to the Mountain State, but we didn’t want to wait any longer.

Add to that the moronic law passed a couple of years ago that coerces people, even people who have been together more than two decades, into undergoing religious and/or psychological counseling before they can tie the knot, and it was clear that, as far as getting married goes, West Virginia is not open for our business.

We were planning to go to Chicago anyway, and Melanie holds Steppenwolf in very high regard, so I suggested she ask if we could get married there. She did. And they said yes. And we said “I Do.”

We’re hoping that none of our friends feel slighted that we did this out of town. In the event that anyone reading this really feels the need for us to have a huge reception with tons of guests, please, feel free to throw one for us. We’ll be there… as long as we don’t have to do any planning or pay for it.

AMC's "Breaking Bad" on top at Emmy Awards 

By LYNN ELBERTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES - "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad" triumphed at Monday's Emmy Awards, proving that established broadcast and cable fare retains the power to fend off challenges from upstart online series such as "Orange Is the New Black."

The ceremony's emotional high point came with Billy Crystal's restrained and graceful remembrance of Robin Williams, who was found dead Aug. 11, an apparent suicide.

"He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him," Crystal said of Williams at the conclusion of a tribute to industry members who died within the past 12 months. "Robin Williams, what a concept."

ABC's "Modern Family" won a fifth best comedy series Emmy, tying the record set by "Frasier," while the final season of AMC's "Breaking Bad" captured the top drama award and a trio of acting honors for its stars.

Netflix's freshman "Orange Is the New Black," which competed for best comedy series despite its dark prison setting, failed to sway Emmy voters, as did Netflix's sophomore series "House of Cards."

Bryan Cranston was honored as best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad," proving that "True Detective" nominee Matthew McConaughey's movie-star appeal couldn't conquer all.

"I have gratitude for everything that has happened," Cranston said. His victory ties him with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz. Cranston's co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were honored in categories for best drama supporting acting - he for the third time and she for the second straight year - and the series won its second consecutive best drama award.

"Thank you for this wonderful farewell to our show," "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said of the series about a teacher-turned-drug kingpin that ended with a bang.

A broadcast win was scored by ABC's "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies, honored as best lead actress in a drama series. "What a wonderful time for women on television," Margulies said.

McConaughey was the object of too-handsome jokes by presenter Jimmy Kimmel and adoration by winner Gail Mancuso, honored as best director for an episode of "Modern Family." It was one of the better gags of the night.

"If you don't mind, Matthew McConaughey, I'm gonna make eye contact with you right now," she said from the stage, making good by holding the actor's gaze for much of her speech.

The ceremony honoring the best of TV wasn't shy about playing the movie-star card. "Six minutes to Woody Harrelson" flashed on screen during Colin Bucksey's acceptance speech for best miniseries direction for "Fargo."

Harrelson and his "True Detective" co-star were given time to banter before announcing that Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock: His Last Vow" was the winner of the best miniseries actor award.

"So you won Oscar, (People magazine's) Sexiest Man Alive and now you want an Emmy, too. Isn't that a little bit greedy?" Harrelson teased his fellow nominee.

"Fargo" was named best miniseries, and the award for best miniseries actress went to Jessica Lange of "American Horror Story: Coven."

Buffering the miniseries awards was a parody routine about top nominees by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Musical numbers usually look out of place at the Emmys, and this one was no different. Other scripted banter fell flat, although host Seth Meyers kept soldiering on.

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons was crowned as best comedy series actor, giving him his fourth Emmy and putting him in company with all-time sitcom winners Carroll O'Connor, Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox.

"Modern Family" also captured a best comedy supporting actor trophy for Ty Burrell. Allison Janney was honored as best supporting comedy actress for CBS' "Mom," adding to the trophy she'd already picked up as guest actress on "Masters of Sex."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who received her third consecutive best comedy actress Emmy for the political comedy "Veep," drew big laughs as she stopped to exchange faux heated kisses with Cranston, who earlier was her co-presenter and who appeared with her on "Seinfeld."

"The Colbert Report" was honored as best variety series for its farewell season, with its star departing to take over for David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show."

Meyers kicked off the ceremony by tweaking his home network, NBC, and other broadcasters for being eclipsed in the awards by cable series and online newcomers like "Orange Is the New Black."

Noting that the Emmys moved to Monday night to avoid a conflict with Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, he said that MTV doesn't really specialize in videos anymore.

"That's like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy," Meyers joked - but the outcome proved him wrong.

Besides "Orange Is the New Black," other shows that didn't benefit from tactical category choices included "Shameless," which moved from drama to comedy consideration, and "True Detective," with its close-ended story that smacked of a miniseries.

The ceremony's traditional "in memoriam" tribute to industry members who have died in the past year flashed images of stars including James Garner, Ruby Dee, Sid Caesar, Carmen Zapata and Elaine Stritch as singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles sang "Smile." It concluded with the tribute to Williams.

Another touching moment Monday: Director-producer Ryan Murphy dedicating the outstanding TV movie Emmy won by "The Normal Heart" to the many artists felled by the HIV virus and AIDS.

List of winners at Monday's 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

- Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family," ABC.

- Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K., "Louie," FX.

- Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Allison Janney, "Mom," CBS.

- Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, "Modern Family," ABC.

- Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS.

- Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," HBO.

- Reality-Competition Program: "The Amazing Race," CBS.

- Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Stephen Moffat, "Sherlock: His Last Vow," PBS.

- Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kathy Bates, "American Horror Story: Coven," FX.

- Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Martin Freeman, "Sherlock: His Last Vow," PBS.

- Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Adam Bernstein, "Fargo," FX.

- Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock: His Last Vow," PBS.

- Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story: Coven," FX.

- Miniseries: "Fargo," FX.

- Movie: "The Normal Heart," HBO.

- Writing, Variety Special: Sarah Silverman, "Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles," HBO.

- Directing, Variety Special: Glenn Weiss, "67th Annual Tony Awards," CBS.

- Variety Series: "The Colbert Report," Comedy Central.

- Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC.

- Directing, Drama Series: Cary Joji Fukunaga, "True Detective," HBO.

- Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad," AMC.

- Writing, Drama Series: Moira Walley-Beckett, "Breaking Bad," AMC.

- Actress, Drama Series: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife," CBS.

- Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC.

- Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.

- Drama Series: "Breaking Bad," AMC.

'Breaking Bad' and 'Modern Family' win Emmy Awards 

By LYNN ELBERAP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad" triumphed at Monday's Emmy Awards, proving that established broadcast and cable fare retains the power to fend off challenges from upstart online series such as "Orange Is the New Black."

The ceremony's emotional high point came with Billy Crystal's restrained and graceful remembrance of Robin Williams, who was found dead Aug. 11, an apparent suicide.

"He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him," Crystal said of Williams at the conclusion of a tribute to industry members who died within the past 12 months. "Robin Williams, what a concept."

ABC's "Modern Family" won a fifth best comedy series Emmy, tying the record set by "Frasier," while the final season of AMC's "Breaking Bad" captured the top drama award and a trio of acting honors for its stars.

Netflix's freshman "Orange Is the New Black," which competed for best comedy series despite its dark prison setting, failed to sway Emmy voters, as did Netflix's sophomore series "House of Cards."

Bryan Cranston was honored as best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad," proving that "True Detective" nominee Matthew McConaughey's movie-star appeal couldn't conquer all.

"I have gratitude for everything that has happened," Cranston said. His victory ties him with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz. Cranston's co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were honored in categories for best drama supporting acting - he for the third time and she for the second straight year - and the series won its second consecutive best drama award.

"Thank you for this wonderful farewell to our show," "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said of the series about a teacher-turned-drug kingpin that ended with a bang.

A broadcast win was scored by ABC's "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies, honored as best lead actress in a drama series. "What a wonderful time for women on television," Margulies said.

McConaughey was the object of too-handsome jokes by presenter Jimmy Kimmel and adoration by winner Gail Mancuso, honored as best director for an episode of "Modern Family." It was one of the better gags of the night.

"If you don't mind, Matthew McConaughey, I'm gonna make eye contact with you right now," she said from the stage, making good by holding the actor's gaze for much of her speech.

The ceremony honoring the best of TV wasn't shy about playing the movie-star card. "Six minutes to Woody Harrelson" flashed on screen during Colin Bucksey's acceptance speech for best miniseries direction for "Fargo."

Harrelson and his "True Detective" co-star were given time to banter before announcing that Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock: His Last Vow" was the winner of the best miniseries actor award.

"So you won Oscar, (People magazine's) Sexiest Man Alive and now you want an Emmy, too. Isn't that a little bit greedy?" Harrelson teased his fellow nominee.

"Fargo" was named best miniseries, and the award for best miniseries actress went to Jessica Lange of "American Horror Story: Coven."

Buffering the miniseries awards was a parody routine about top nominees by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Musical numbers usually look out of place at the Emmys, and this one was no different. Other scripted banter fell flat, although host Seth Meyers kept soldiering on.

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons was crowned as best comedy series actor, giving him his fourth Emmy and putting him in company with all-time sitcom winners Carroll O'Connor, Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox.

"Modern Family" also captured a best comedy supporting actor trophy for Ty Burrell. Allison Janney was honored as best supporting comedy actress for CBS' "Mom," adding to the trophy she'd already picked up as guest actress on "Masters of Sex."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who received her third consecutive best comedy actress Emmy for the political comedy "Veep," drew big laughs as she stopped to exchange faux heated kisses with Cranston, who earlier was her co-presenter and who appeared with her on "Seinfeld."

"The Colbert Report" was honored as best variety series for its farewell season, with its star departing to take over for David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show."

Meyers kicked off the ceremony by tweaking his home network, NBC, and other broadcasters for being eclipsed in the awards by cable series and online newcomers like "Orange Is the New Black."

Noting that the Emmys moved to Monday night to avoid a conflict with Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, he said that MTV doesn't really specialize in videos anymore.

"That's like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy," Meyers joked - but the outcome proved him wrong.

Besides "Orange Is the New Black," other shows that didn't benefit from tactical category choices included "Shameless," which moved from drama to comedy consideration, and "True Detective," with its close-ended story that smacked of a miniseries.

The ceremony's traditional "in memoriam" tribute to industry members who have died in the past year flashed images of stars including James Garner, Ruby Dee, Sid Caesar, Carmen Zapata and Elaine Stritch as singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles sang "Smile." It concluded with the tribute to Williams.

Another touching moment Monday: Director-producer Ryan Murphy dedicating the outstanding TV movie Emmy won by "The Normal Heart" to the many artists felled by the HIV virus and AIDS.

---

Online: http://www.emmys.com

---

AP Entertainment Writers Anthony McCartney and Beth Harris contributed to this report.

The PopCult Toybox: Motorific 

…it’s terrific, it’s Ideal!

6a00d8354ec1f869e200e54f2eb4ed8833-800wiYeah, we’re going to wallow in nostalgia again this week and look at videos of old toys from the 1960s. This time our subject is Motorific, a toy car made by Ideal. This was a cool, battery-operated car that came with small, interchangeable motors. In fact, the same motors were used in Boaterific, and with slight modifications, The Zeroids line of toy robots. You could do all sorts of modifications to these toy cars, which cashed in on the car craze of the time. The most sought-after set was the Torture Track, complete with all sorts of tricks and ways you could do stunts and crash your cars.

So take a look at a mix of old commercials and new video of vintage toys in action. And keep checking PopCult for the Top Secret surprise this week.

There’s more after the jump!

WVU band takes its show into southern West Virginia 

By Shawnee Moran

West Virginia University football is right around the corner, and that means the gold and blue Mountaineer Marching Band - known as the Pride of West Virginia - isn't far behind.

The Pride of West Virginia is known for its ability to give fans goosebumps at the Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown during home football games with nostalgic tunes and impressive drill formations, including when band members move to form the outline of the state.

But at the beginning of this football season, the Mountaineer Marching Band is doing something slightly different - taking time out of its busy schedule to visit die-hard WVU fans in McDowell County before heading to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nearly 400 band members will travel more than four hours Thursday to perform for the first time in almost three decades in McDowell County, thanks to the initial efforts of Donald Reed.

Reed, the McDowell County WVU extension program coordinator, said this trip has been in the works since May when University President Gordon Gee visited McDowell County during his 55-county tour. One of Gee's habits was asking residents what the university could do for them.

Reed said Gee enjoyed lunch with the Chamber of Commerce at the monthly Lunch and Learn event at the Welch Library, and opened up a question and answer session afterward to hear from members of the community. That's when Reed decided to ask Gee if the Pride of West Virginia could perform at the Veterans Day Parade.

"(He) opened it up for questions and answers and I asked 'Mr. President, what would it take to bring that band here?' The entire room erupted in cheers and applause and he said, 'Donald, I'll check on that,'" Reed said.

There had to be a little give on the McDowell County side, though.

When McDowell County officials discovered the band was traveling to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, they decided to reschedule the high school football season opener so the band could perform for the public.

The game between rivals Riverview and Mount View was originally set for Friday, but now will kickoff Thursday night at 7:30 at Riverview High School an hour after the band is scheduled to perform.

Gee, known for his affinity for bow ties and his caring demeanor, has not only won the hearts of students at the university, but of people across the state as well.

Reed described Gee as "someone who makes everyone feel important" and "having the wisdom of your grandfather, the comradery of your brother and the energy of your younger siblings all combined in one person."

He said Gee followed through with his word and the people of McDowell County will greet the band Thursday with love, respect and admiration. He also said that the McDowell County superintendent and principals were key in helping get the Pride down in the southern part of the state.

"The superintendent and both principals have worked diligently and so hard to put this effort off. I did the invite, but honestly they have taken care of all the details," he said, adding he has watched in amazement how the community has come together to make this work.

"(Gee) has truly taken a special interest in the work of extension in McDowell County, a special interest in making sure it is fully supported and WVU is appropriately at the table in the reconnecting McDowell initiative."

Riverview High School Principal Michael Tye is as excited, if not more, for the Pride to come to the football game.

"I'm telling you the whole county's abuzz about it. They are really excited and we're going to have a packed house," he said, adding that he expects between 4,000 and 5,000 people to be in attendance for the high school football game.

Keith Wagner, a former state senator and teacher at the high school, was also involved in helping Gee and band director Jay Drury to come down and play, according to Tye. He said he couldn't thank the two men enough for making a special stop for students and members of the community.

"We can't wait. I think the world of them," he said, adding that he hopes kids in McDowell County will see that their dreams are limitless. "It's going to be a long trip and out of the way for them, but to take the time to come down and perform says a lot. I think it's going to show people in Southern West Virginia that WVU recognizes all the counties in the state."

The superintendent of McDowell County Schools, Nelson Spencer, said he guarantees it will be a big turnout, so to account for the large volume of traffic there will be three shuttle service buses.

He said the shuttles will start running from the old D&D Auto Services parking lot and Sandy River Middle School and will return fans back to their cars after the football game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the Pride of West Virginia, visit theprideofwestvirginia.org.

Contact writer Shawnee Moran at 304-348-4872 or shawnee.moran@dailymailwv.com. Follow her on Twitter @shawneemoran22.

The RFC MINI SHOW starring Plaid Clash 

Image2This week The RFC MINI SHOW presents the mighty Plaid Clash, bringing their Celtic magic to the Bluegrass Kitchen. This four-piece features Chris Higgins, Garrett Maner, Dan Carney and Vaughn Gold singing and playing a variety of instruments.

This dynamic combo has been playing around Charleston for a few months, and we finally caught up to them at the Bluegrass Kitchen just a couple of weeks ago. We will be catching up with them again in the future, as we didn’t bring the right recording equipment to capture the audio at this event in our usual high quality. Bluegrass Kitchen is one of the finest restaurants in town, and was packed, and our microphones picked up nearly every dinner conversation in the place instead of the music.

Even with the less-than perfect audio, we wanted to give you a taste of this great band. Rest assured that Plaid Clash will grace the RFC screen again in the near future, with audio that does their beautiful sound justice.

You can next hear Plaid Clash Sunday, September 7, as part of Culture Fest in Pipestem.

Actor-director Richard Attenborough dies at 90 

By GREGORY KATZThe Associated Press

LONDON - Acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, has died. He was 90.

The actor's son, Michael Attenborough told the BBC that his father died Sunday. He had been in poor health for some time.

Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement calling Attenborough "one of the greats of cinema."

"His acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," Cameron said.

Attenborough won an Academy Award for best director with "Gandhi" in 1982, only one of many highlights of a distinguished career as actor and director.

With his abundant snow-white hair and beard, Attenborough was one of the most familiar faces on the British arts scene - universally known as "Dickie."

He appeared in a many major Hollywood films, directed a series of movies and was known for his extensive work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and other humanitarian causes.

As a director, Attenborough made several successful movies, from "Oh What a Lovely War" in 1969 to "Chaplin" and "Shadowlands" in the 1990s. But his greatest success was "Gandhi," a film that was 20 years in the planning and won eight Oscars, including best picture.

The generation that was introduced to Attenborough as an avuncular veteran actor in the 1990s - when he played the failed theme park developer in "Jurassic Park" and Kriss Kringle in a remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" - may not have appreciated his dramatic range.

A small, energetic man with a round face that remained boyish even in old age, he was perfectly cast at the start of his career as the young sailor or airman of British movies during and after World War II.

In his 1942 film debut as a terrified warship's crewman in "In Which We Serve," a 19-year-old Attenborough made a small part into one of the most memorable roles in the movie, which won the Best Picture Oscar.

In 1947, Attenborough gave one of the best performances of his career as the teenage thug Pinkie in "Brighton Rock," the film version of Graham Greene's novel. Attenborough's baby face and air of menace combined to make it one of his most memorable roles.

His youthful appearance nearly cost him the lead role in the original cast of "The Mousetrap," because its author, Agatha Christie, didn't think he looked like a police detective. But he starred with his wife, actress Sheila Sim, when the hit play opened in November 1952 and stayed for 700 performances.

In 1959, Attenborough joined fellow actor Bryan Forbes in film production. "The Angry Silence" in 1960 was their successful debut, with Attenborough playing a strike-breaking factory worker. It was one of the first of the gritty, working-class films that heralded Britain's "new realism" of the 1960s.

Together, Forbes and Attenborough produced "Whistle Down the Wind" in 1961 and "The L-Shaped Room" in 1962. Their last film, 1964's "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," won Attenborough Best Actor awards from the London Film Critics and British Film Academy.

In the meantime, he had appeared as a prisoner of war in 1963's "The Great Escape" - known for its classic ensemble cast, including Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Charles Bronson - and starred in "Guns at Batasi," for which he won another British Film Academy award. In 1967, he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in "The Sand Pebbles."

In 1969, Attenborough turned to directing with "Oh What a Lovely War," a lampoon of World War I, which won a Golden Globe award as best English-language foreign film. Three years later, he made "Young Winston," the story of Winston Churchill's early life.

In between, in 1971, he turned in a chilling performance as 1950s mass murderer John Reginald Christie in "10 Rillington Place."

By the mid-1970s, Attenborough had become a director who only occasionally acted. It was said that he took acting jobs to help finance the movies he wanted to direct.

But his return to directing in the 1977 war movie "A Bridge Too Far" was an expensive disaster, despite its cast of international stars. The following year, the heavy-handed 1978 thriller "Magic" was a failure despite the talents of Anthony Hopkins.

"A Chorus Line," Attenborough's 1985 film of the long-running stage musical, also took a critical beating. And, more recently, 1996's "In Love and War," failed to win much critical support.

Attenborough was often thought to be at his best when trying to coax the finest work from actors. "Gandhi" made a star of its little-known leading man Ben Kingsley, and Denzel Washington won an Oscar nomination for 1987's "Cry Freedom."

Debra Winger was nominated for an Oscar and Anthony Hopkins gave one of his best performances in "Shadowlands," a small, subtle film that won Attenborough perhaps his greatest critical praise.

Attenborough, son of a university principal, was born Aug. 29, 1923, into a family with strong liberal views and a tradition of volunteer work for humanitarian concerns.

One of his younger brothers is naturalist David Attenborough, whose nature documentaries have reached audiences around the world.

Richard Attenborough was a tireless defender of the British film industry. His artistic and humanitarian efforts were rewarded with several international prizes, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize in 1983.

He was knighted in 1976, and 17 years later received a life peerage, becoming Baron Attenborough of Richmond upon Thames.

His later years were marked by a horrendous personal tragedy when he lost his daughter Jane and granddaughter in the tsunami that hit Thailand the day after Christmas in 2004.

The heart-broken Attenborough said he was never able to celebrate the Christmas holidays after that.

He had been in frail health since a fall at his house in 2008, and spent his last years in a nursing home with his wife.

He is survived by his wife, their son and a daughter.

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