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Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh was born in 1943 in Salford, Lancashire. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, at Camberwell and Central Art Schools, and at the London Film School.

His first feature film, Bleak Moments (1971), won the top prizes at the Chicago and Locarno Film Festivals. This was followed by the full-length television films Hard Labour (1973), Nuts in May (1975), The Kiss of Death (1976), Abigail's Party (1977), Who's Who (1978), Grown-Upst' (1980), Home Sweet Home (1982), Meantime (1983), and Four Days in July" (1984), which was shot entirely on location in Belfast.

His feature films High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1991), and Naked (1993) have been highly successful internationally, all winning numerous prestigious awards, including Leigh's Best Director award for Naked at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

In May 1996, Leigh took Secrets and Lies to the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or award (the Festival's highest honor) and the Best Actress award for Brenda Blethyn. Secrets and Lies went on to be Leigh's biggest commercial hit to date, grossing $50 million worldwide.

Secrets and Lies won many other awards, including a Golden Globe for Brenda Blethyn; the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's awards for Best Picture, Director, and Actress; and three BAFTA awards, for Best British Film, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Following Secrets and Lies, Leigh directed Career Girls, which was shown at the Locarno and Edinburgh Film Festivals; and for which Katrin Cartlidge won the London EveninQ Standard Best Actress award.

Mike Leigh received the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema at the 1995 BAFTA Awards; and was awarded an OBE in 1993.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Mike Leigh Facts

OccupationDirector
BirthdayFebruary 20, 1943 (74)
SignPisces
BirthplaceSalford, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Awards2005 BAFTA Awards: David Lean Award for Direction (for Vera Drake)

Selected Filmography

Mr. Turner
Happy-Go-Lucky
Another Year
Topsy-Turvy
Secrets and Lies
Vera Drake
All Or Nothing
Naked
Continue » Find more details on the Mike Leigh Movies page