The award-winning actor and director died at lunchtime on Sunday.
Lord Attenborough, brother of TV naturalist Sir David, starred in numerous classic movies over the years including Brighton Rock, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park.
But perhaps his greatest cinematic achievement was as the director of Gandhi, which went on to win eight Oscars.
Lord Attenborough had been living in a nursing home with his wife for a number of years, having been in a wheelchair since falling down a flight of stairs six years ago.
He married the actress Sheila Sim when he was 21.
His son Michael was born in 1949, followed by two daughters, Jane and Charlotte.
But the star was no stranger to tragedy. His elder daughter Jane Holland, her daughter, Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, were killed in the south-Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.
Prime Minister David Cameron was among the first to pay tribute to Lord Attenborough.
He said: "His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning - Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."