Daniel Day-Lewis

Recent Role:

Abraham Lincoln on Lincoln

Born:

4/29/1957, London, England, UK

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • Daniel is an actor whose on-screen intensity is rivaled only by his off-screen intensity, he is one of the most acclaimed and least understood performers of his generation.

    The stories surrounding his complete immersion in his roles are legendary, from his insistence on remaining in a wheelchair between takes for My Left Foot to his refusal to accept manufactured cigarettes in favor of rolling his own, 18th-century while filming The Last of the Mohicans.
    Daniel's highly cerebral approach to his work may emanate in part from his background. Born in London on April 29, 1957, he was the son of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon. The influence of the cinema was particularly strong on his mother's side: she was the daughter of Sir Michael Balcon, the one-time head of Ealing Studios. Educated at various public schools, Daniel took an early interest in acting. After dropping out of school at the age of thirteen, he managed to get a small part in John Schlesinger's Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971).

    Following his debut, he decided to focus on his theatrical training, which he received at the Bristol Old Vic. He acted with that theatre and with the Royal Shakespeare Company for the rest of the decade, and in 1982 he made his second film appearance, playing a street thug in Gandhi.

    It was in 1986 that Daniel first stepped into the realm of international acclaim. Two films which featured him in prominent roles, My Beautiful Laundrette and A Room With a View, opened on the same day in New York. A gay street punk in the former and an insufferable Edwardian prig in the latter, Daniel astonished critics and audiences with his chameleon-like versatility. The New York Film Critics Circle took particular note of his talent, naming him the year's Best Supporting Actor for his work in both films. It was only a matter of time before Daniel achieved leading man status, and two years later he did just that in Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The acclaim the actor received for his portrayal of a philandering Czech surgeon paled in comparison to that surrounding his performance as the cerebral palsy-stricken author and artist Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot (1989). Daniel won American and British Academy Awards as Best Actor for his work, sealing a reputation as one of the most engaging leading men of his generation.

    A subsequent return to the stage in Richard Eyre's National Theatre production of Hamlet ended abruptly when Daniel walked off the stage one night, mid-performance, due to "nervous exhaustion." He took a hiatus from film until 1992, when he reappeared, toned up and oiled down, to star in Last of the Mohicans. The film was a success, and it went some way towards giving Daniel a reputation as an unconventional sex symbol.

    The following year, he returned to the other side of the Atlantic to star in Sheridan's In the Name of the Father, playing an Irish man wrongfully convicted of taking part in an IRA bombing. Best Actor Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations followed suit for his powerful performance. That same year, Daniel versatility was again on display, as he starred as a turn-of-the-century New York society man in Martin Scorsese's lavish adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.

    Daniel's screen appearances subsequently took on a more sporadic quality, and it was not until 1996 that he was again visible to film audiences. That year, he starred in Nicholas Hytner's adaptation of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. His portrayal of the tragically adulterous John Proctor netted strong reviews, as did his work in the following year's The Boxer, his third collaboration with Sheridan. Starring as a former boxer trying to make a new life for himself after being imprisoned for fourteen years for his work with the IRA, Daniel turned in another powerful performance. Although the film received mixed reviews, the actor earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work.
    Subsequently forsaking film work for the simple life of a cobbler in Italy, Daniel was reportedly drawn out of his self imposed exile through the efforts of producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former collaborator Scorsese. Lured to New York and back into the hustle and bustle of the film industry, it seemed that Scorsese had finally found an actor capable of the focused yet unhinged intensity that Gangs of New York's Bill the Butcher demanded. Once again submerging himself so much in the character that the lines of reality and fantasy would become blurred (rumors persisted that he would speak with his film accent even while off-screen in addition to taking lessons by a genuine butcher), Daniel's decidedly methodic approach to creating convincing screen characters would ultimately pay off as many cited his Oscar nominated performance as one of the most convincing of the talented actor's career.

    Daniel's next project was of a lower profile, The Ballad of Jack and Rose which was written and directed by his wife, Rebecca Miller. His next film however would return him to critical acclaim. There Will Be Blood was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and once again Daniel was noted for his intense performance for which he was honored with a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Daniel currently resides in undisclosed location with his wife, Rebecca Miller, and their two children.moreless

    Birth Name:

    Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis

    Gender:

    Male

    Birth Place:

    London, England, UK

    Also Known As

    Daniel Day Lewis

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (4)

    • Daniel Day-Lewis: (When asked about his taking Irish citizenship) Yes, I do have dual citizenship, but I think of England as my country. I miss London very much but I couldn't live there because there came a time when I needed to be private and was forced to be public by the press. I couldn't deal with it.

    • Daniel Day-Lewis: (on acting) If I weren't allowed this outlet, there wouldn't be a place for me in society.

    • Daniel Day-Lewis: I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it's no problem for me to believe I'm somebody else.

    • Daniel Day-Lewis: (On whether or not he will act in films more often in the future) Nothing happened over the course of making Gangs of New York that made me think, "Why don't I do this more often?"

    Trivia (27)

    • Over his career, Daniel Day-Lewis has been nominated for and received the following acting awards: 2013- Won Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Lincoln( 2012) 2008 - Won Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for There Will Be Blood(2007) 2008 - Won BAFTA for Best Leading Actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2008 - Won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2008 - Won BFCA Award for Best Actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2008 - Won Golden Globe for Best Actor (Motion Picture - Drama) for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2008 - Won KCFCC award for Best Actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2007 - Won CFCA award for Best Actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2007 - Won FFCC award for Best Actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) 2005 - Received the Berlinale Camera Award from the Berlin International Film Festival 2004 - Nominated for Empire Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won VFCC Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won Sierra Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won OFCS Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won KCFCC Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won Golden Aries Award for Best Foreign Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won FFCC Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won CFCA Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won BFCA Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Won BAFTA Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Nominated for Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Nominated for MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for Gangs of New York (2002) 2003 - Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for Gangs of New York (2002) 2002 - Won Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2002 - Won SEFCA Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2002 - Won SDFCS Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2002 - Won NYFCC Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 2002 - Won LAFCA Award for Best Actor for Gangs of New York (2002) 1998 - Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for The Boxer (1997) 1994 - Nominated for Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the Name of the Father (1993) 1994 - Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for the Name of the Father (1993) 1994 - Nominated for BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor for the Name of the Father (1993) 1993 - Won Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor for The Last of the Mohicans (1992) 1993 - Won BSFC Award for Best Actor for the Name of the Father (1993) 1993 - Won ALFS Award for British Actor of the Year for The Last of the Mohicans (1992) 1993 - Nominated for BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor for The Last of the Mohicans (1992) 1990 - Won Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role forMy Left Foot(1989) 1990 - Won NSFC Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1990 - Won Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1990 - Won BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1990 - Won ALFS Award for Actor of the Year for My Left Foot (1989) 1990 - Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for My Left Foot (1989) 1989 - Won NYFCC Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1989 - Won LAFCA Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1989 - Won Best Actor Award for My Left Foot (1989) at the Montreal World Film Festival 1989 - Nominated for European Film Award for Best Actor for My Left Foot (1989) 1989 - Daniel & director Jim Sheridan won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention for My Left Foot (1989) at the Montreal World Film Festival 1986 - Won NYFCC Award for Best Supporting Actor for My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) 1986 - Won NYFCC Award for Best Supporting Actor for A Room with a View (1985) 1986 - Won NBR Award for Best Supporting Actor for My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) 1986 - Won NBR Award for Best Supporting Actor for A Room with a View (1985)

    • Over his career, Daniel was noted by the following magazines:

      • 2006 - Premiere magazine listed their "100 Greatest Performances" and Daniel's role as Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989) was ranked #11. Daniel also occupied the #53 spot for his role as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in Gangs of New York (2002).
      • 2003 - Daniel made it on People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" list.
      • 1997 - Daniel ranked #25 in Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
      • 1995 - Daniel was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars" in film history, placing #11.
      • 1990 - Daniel was chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world.

    • Daniel, when he won the SAG best actor award in 2008 (for There Will Be Blood), dedicated it to actor Heath Ledger who had died the week before.

    • From 2003 through 2004, Daniel participated in several radio dramas on BBC Radio 4.

    • Daniel's art work was reproduced in The Irish: A Treasury of Art and Literature, edited by Leslie Conron Carola and released in 1993.

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