More John Madden Bios & Profiles
Biography #2A British native, John Madden has worked extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, winning extravagant praise for Shakespeare in Love, his previous feature. The 1998 film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and brought the director his own first Oscar nomination. It was also honored by BAFTA, the Golden Globes and numerous critics.
Madden lived in the U. S. during much of the 1970's and 80's where he developed drama for National Public Radio (Earplay), taught playwriting and acting at the Yale School of Drama, and directed for the stage. Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy, and Arnold Wesker's Caritas received their premieres under his direction.
Born in Portsmouth. and educated at Clifton College and Cambridge, Madden began his career as Artistic Director of the Oxford & Cambridge Shakespeare Company, later moving to the BBC to work in television and radio drama.
He moved to America in 1975. After winning the Prix Italia with Arthur Kopil's radio play Wings. he subsequently directed the stage adaptation at Yale, on Broadway and for the National Theatre in London. In addition to premieres of the Feiffer/Durang/Wesker works, he mounted new productions of established plays at Yale Rep. New York's Public and Roundabout theaters, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.
Returning to England in the mid-1980s. Madden helmed numerous telepics including episodes of Inspector Morse and Prime Suspect (both BAFTA nominated). He directed After the War, a 10-part television series written by Frederic Raphael. as well as Poppyland and The Widowmaker, which was his first collaboration with Mrs. Brown writer Jeremy Brock.
Back in the U. S., he filmed Ethan Frome, a new adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, starring Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette and Joan Allen, followed by Golden Gate, a story of cultural collision in Chinatown, written by playwright David Henry Hwang and starring Matt Dillon and Joan Chen.
In England once again, he teamed up with (Dame) Judi Dench and Scottish comic Billy Connolly for Mrs. Brown. The story of an improbable but apparently true friendship between Queen Victoria and a groomsman received critical acclaim and unexpected box office success, setting the stage for Shakespeare in Love, a directorial tour-de-force for John Madden.