Behind the Scene Lives of David Attenborough’s Brothers That You Should Know

Many questions have emerged about David Attenborough’s brothers lately.

David Attenborough, the world’s most celebrated natural historian, isn’t the only star in his family.

The Attenborough brothers namely: David, Richard, and John, have all left their mark on British culture.

But there are more details about the Attenborough brothers behind the scene that you should know about.

In this article you will learn about:

  1. Marriage lives of the Attenborough brothers
  2. Secrets of the Attenborough brothers
  3. How the Attenborough brothers made their living
An image of David
Dive deeper than documentaries! This article explores the fascinating lives of David Attenborough’s brothers, Richard, the celebrated actor and director, and John, the enigmatic businessman/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

David Attenborough

David Attenborough is the third child and the youngest among David Attenborough’s brothers.

He is a famous speaker, naturalist, and author.

Across the world, his documentaries like “Planet Earth” and “The Blue Planet” have captivated viewers and made them value nature more.

David Attenborough is an English naturalist, writer, and broadcaster who was born on May 8, 1926, in London.

He is best known for his innovative educational TV shows, especially the nine-part Life series.

As a child, Attenborough lived in Leicester, England, where his father was the head of the local university.

His older brother, Richard Attenborough, went on to be a successful actor and film producer.

David became very interested in natural history at a young age. After getting his M.A. from Clare College, Cambridge in 1947, he went to work at an educational publishing house in 1949.

He finished a training program at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1952 and went on to work as a TV producer for the BBC.

In 1954, he and Jack Lester, a reptile curator, created the TV show Zoo Quest.

The show featured real animals filmed in zoos and in the wild.

This show was a huge hit, and it expanded the types of educational shows that the BBC showed.

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough, a celebrated British actor and director, left a lasting mark on cinema.

Born in Cambridge, he honed his craft at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Early roles established him as a talented actor, particularly in “Brighton Rock” where he played a psychopathic gangster.

World War II saw Attenborough serve in the Royal Air Force. He continued acting after the war, starring in successful comedies and Agatha Christie’s long-running play “The Mousetrap.”

Performances in “Seance on a Wet Afternoon” and “Guns at Batasi” earned him critical acclaim.

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Richard Attenborough’s Acting Journey

While renowned for acting, Attenborough’s directing career proved equally impressive.

Partnering with Bryan Forbes, he produced films like “The League of Gentlemen.”

His directorial debut, the musical “Oh! What a Lovely War,” marked a turning point.

Attenborough’s most notable directorial achievements include historical epics like “Gandhi,” which earned him an Academy Award for Best Director, and “Young Winston” about Winston Churchill.

He also directed blockbusters like “Jurassic Park” and heartwarming films like “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Beyond film, Attenborough actively gave back to the industry.

He served as president of institutions like the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

His passion for education led him to support the United World Colleges movement.

A life peer and lifelong Chelsea FC fan, Attenborough received numerous honors, including a knighthood and a CBE.

He remained married to actress Sheila Sim until his death in 2014.

Richard Attenborough’s legacy extends beyond awards and accolades.

He was a captivating actor, a visionary director, and a dedicated patron of the arts, leaving an undeniable mark on British cinema.

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David Attenborough’s brothers: John Attenborough

An image of John
John Attenborough/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

In 1928, John Attenborough was born in Isleworth.

He is the youngest brother among David Attenborough’s brothers.

All three went to Leicester’s Wyggeston Grammar School.

John went to Cambridge with David to Clare College after his National Service. David studied rocks and minerals, and John picked current languages.

John Attenborough Marriage Life

While going to Cambridge for school He met Janet, who would become his wife.

In 1956, they got married in Cambridge and moved to Richmond, where his brothers lived with their families.

Nicola and James were their two boys. For thirty years, Nicholas has lived and worked in South Africa, while James moved to Parkstone with his wife and two children.

John was asked to join Alfa Romeo GB as general manager and given the job of building up a network of dealers because he liked cars and spoke Italian very well.

For 10 years, he worked for the company and flew to Milan every month until the company had 100 British agents.

The household moved to Poole, and John started working at Mann Egerton.

“He was asked to go to Tehran to look at and rate the cars of the recently deposed Shah of Persia,” Janet remembered.

“The visit was fun because we got to see about 140 cars, such as Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Lamborghinis, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.”

Iran was in a lot of trouble because the Shah had just been removed from power a year before.

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John Attenborough Working as Abbey Life Financial Manager

John worked as an Abbey Life financial manager for a few years after a long time in the auto business.

He had an active life and then got progressive supranural palsy.

John was sick for a long time and died peacefully at home on November 9.

“He was always there for us; a caring father and true family man,” Janet said about her husband.

The church of the Transfiguration in Chaddesley Glen held John’s funeral on November 28.

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