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Mike Leigh

Michael "Mike" Leigh, OBE (born 20 February 1943) is a British writer and director of film and theatre. He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and studied further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterized by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include Life is Sweet (1990), the comedy-drama Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are arguably Naked (1993) for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the BAFTA-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) and Golden Lion winner Vera Drake (2004). His films and stage plays, according to the critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period."  Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked – and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years – including Sheila Kelley, Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Eric Richard, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent."  Ian Buruma, writing in the New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo." Description above from the Wikipedia article Mike Leigh, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Feb 20, 1943 In Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Oscars 1953-03-18
Latest Project:
Movie Drama Out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today 2020-10-12
Known For
Poster of The Alan Titchmarsh Show
Poster of Humphrey Jennings: The Man Who Listened to Britain
Poster of Inspector Maigret
Poster of The Oscars
Movie Drama Out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today Himself 2020-10-12
Movie Scenes from A Separation Unknown 2018-10-04
Movie The One and Only Mike Leigh Himself 2014-11-24
Movie What is Cinema? Himself 2013-09-06
Movie Vittorio D. Himself 2009-09-17
Movie Looking for Truffaut Himself 2009-01-01
Movie All About 'Abigail's Party' Himself 2007-01-01
Series The Alan Titchmarsh Show Unknown 2007-09-03
Series The One Show Unknown 2006-08-14
Series The Culture Show Unknown 2004-11-01
Movie Mike Leigh: The Conversation Interviewee 2000-04-23
Movie Humphrey Jennings: The Man Who Listened to Britain himself 2000-12-31
Movie Welcome to Hollywood Mike Leigh 1998-10-01
Movie Mike Leigh: Making Plays Himself 1982-09-04
Movie Two Left Feet Jim 1963-03-01
Series Inspector Maigret Unknown 1960-10-31
Series The Oscars Unknown 1953-03-18