Lee Daniels

Actor, Producer, Director
In his career as a casting agent, talent manager, film producer and director, Lee Daniels has been an ongoing champion of the "underdog," who expanded opportunities for actors of color and brought controversial stories ... Read more »
Born: 12/24/1959 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Producer (8)

Lee Daniels' The Butler 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Paperboy 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

Precious 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

Tennessee 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

In Prison My Whole Life 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Shadowboxer 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Woodsman 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Monster's Ball 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (6)

WGN America/ The Ten Commandments Project 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)

Director

Lee Daniels' The Butler 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

The Paperboy 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Precious 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Shadowboxer 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Get It While You Can (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (4)

Empire 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Black List: Volume Three 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Shadowboxer 2006 (Movie)

Man in Steam Room (Actor)
Casting (3)

Dangerous Love 1988 (Movie)

(Casting)

Uncle Tom's Cabin 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Casting

Billy Crystal -- Don't Get Me Started 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Casting
Camera, Film, & Tape (2)

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Camera

Ten Thousand Eyes 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Camera
Writer (1)

The Paperboy 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Music (1)

Flipped 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Theme Music

Biography

In his career as a casting agent, talent manager, film producer and director, Lee Daniels has been an ongoing champion of the "underdog," who expanded opportunities for actors of color and brought controversial stories of societal outcasts to the big screen. Daniels' calling card was dark, visceral, often violent material that offered a surprising flicker of hope in even the most hopeless of circumstances, best showcased in his role as the director of "Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (2009). Daniels made his directorial debut in 2006 with the gritty, not-so-well received crime drama "Shadowboxer" (2006), having made his breakout as the producer of "Monster's Ball" (2001), which earned a landmark Academy Award for Halle Berry as a widow who becomes involved with a hateful prison guard. Never afraid to explore the most demonized of subject matters, Daniels gravitated towards the complexities of hustlers and killers and even a pedophile in his critically acclaimed producing effort, "The Woodsman" (2004), starring Kevin Bacon. Sometimes Daniels' fearless attempts to make outsider characters more universally relatable missed the mark, and he caught some backlash over characters deemed unflattering and negative towards the African-American community, but Daniels' character-based approach to first-glance "unsavory" outcasts made him one of the most unique voices in independent film.

Relationships

Liam

Son
Twin of Clara; adopted by Daniels and Billy Hopkins

Clara

Daughter
Twin of Liam; adopted by Daniels and Billy Hopkins

William Daniels

Father
Killed in the line of duty when Lee was 13

Clara Daniels

Mother

Leah Daniels-Butler Casting

Sister
Born Oct. 4, 1965

Billy Hopkins Casting

Companion
Split 2009

Andy Sforzini

Companion
Began dating 2009

EDUCATION

Lindenwood College

St. Charles , Missouri

Milestones

2012

Made screenwriting debut with "The Paperboy"; also directed and produced film based on novel by Peter Dexter

2009

Nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing ("Precious")

2009

Directed critically acclaimed drama "Precious," adapted from the novel Push by Sapphire; earned Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture and a Directors Guild nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement

2009

Nominated for the 2009 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director ("Precious")

2009

Nominated for the 2009 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film ("Precious")

2008

Produced "Tennessee," written by Russell Schaumberg and directed by Aaron Woodley

2006

Made directorial debut with "Shadowboxer," starring Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and, Mo'Nique

2004

Produced "The Woodsman," starring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and Mos Def

2001

Produced first film under Lee Daniels Entertainment, "Monster's Ball"

1984

Launched management company Lee Daniels Entertainment

1984

Was an associate casting director for the films "Purple Rain" (1984) and "Under the Cherry Moon" (1986)

Began working in entertainment as a casting director and manager

Bonus Trivia

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After leaving college, Daniels moved to Los Angeles, CA and opened the first health care agency in the U.S. to be under contract with the renowned AIDS Project Los Angeles.

.

Daniels was asked by Harlem neighbor and former president Bill Clinton to produce public service announcements to inspire young people of color to vote. The effective campaign was launched in March 2004 and featured actor/musician LL Cool J and Grammy winner Alicia Keys.

.

Daniels was featured in "The Vibe 100," Vibe magazine's list of the 100 most influential black individuals in America.

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