Mike Leigh

Director, Screenwriter, Playwright
Noted for his film style in which the commonplace was often tinged with the extraordinary, filmmaker Mike Leigh's process involved improvisational workshops and rehearsals with his actors, often done weeks before a ... Read more »
Born: 02/19/1943 in Lancashire, England, GB

Filmography

Director (23)

Mr. Turner 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Another Year 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

Happy-Go-Lucky 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Vera Drake 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

All or Nothing 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Topsy-Turvy 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Career Girls 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Secrets & Lies 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Naked 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

A Sense of History 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Life Is Sweet 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

High Hopes 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

The Short and Curlies 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Four Days in July 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Meantime 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Home Sweet Home 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Grown Ups 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Who's Who 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Abigail's Party 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Kiss of Death 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Nuts in May 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Bleak Moments 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Hard Labour 1972 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (22)

Mr. Turner 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Another Year 2010 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Happy-Go-Lucky 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Vera Drake 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

All or Nothing 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Topsy-Turvy 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Career Girls 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Secrets & Lies 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Naked 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Life Is Sweet 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

High Hopes 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Short and Curlies 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Four Days in July 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Meantime 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Home Sweet Home 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Grown Ups 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Who's Who 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Abigail's Party 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Kiss of Death 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bleak Moments 1972 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Bleak Moments 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hard Labour 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (5)

2014 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Conversations in World Cinema 1999 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Academy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome to Hollywood 1997 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)
Other (2)

Four Days in July 1983 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Meantime 1982 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Biography

Noted for his film style in which the commonplace was often tinged with the extraordinary, filmmaker Mike Leigh's process involved improvisational workshops and rehearsals with his actors, often done weeks before a single frame was even shot. The British writer-director worked on stage and in television projects before making a name for himself with critically-lauded films such as "Naked" (1993), "Life is Sweet" (1991), and "Secrets and Lies" (1996). With his highly personal projects, Leigh depicted the uneventful lives of ordinary people, yet presented them with plot twists, deep character development, and intricate humanism. His 2008 film "Happy-Go-Lucky," the story of a North London schoolteacher, continued the director's love of capturing everyday life and presenting it as "heightened realism," as he described it. With numerous awards and nominations for his impressive body of work, Leigh cemented his reputation as one of the most celebrated British directors of all time.

Relationships

Alfred Leigh

Father
Met wife through the Habonim, a left-wing Zionist youth organization changed name from Lieberman to Leigh

Phyllis Leigh

Mother
Met husband through the Habonim, a left-wing Zionist youth organization

Leo Leigh

Son
Born in 1981 mother, Alison Steadman

Toby Leigh

Son
Born in 1979 mother, Alison Steadman

Mayer Lieberman

Grandfather
Russian immigrated to UK in 1902

Alison Steadman

Wife
Met while attending East 15 Acting School directed by husband in the 1977 play "Abigail's Party" and his films "Life Is Sweet" (1990) and "Topsy Turvy" (1999) married from 1973-2001

EDUCATION

London International School of Film Technique

1963 - 1964

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1960 - 1962
Initially trained as an actor; directed a student production of Pinter's "The Caretaker"

Central School of Art and Design

1964 - 1965

Camberwell School of Art

1963 - 1964

Milestones

2011

Directed a revival of his play "Ecstasy" at the West End's Duchess Theatre

2010

Wrote and directed the British drama, "Another Year"; re-teamed with Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville from "Topsy-Turvy"

2008

Helmed the contemporary comedy "Happy-Go-Lucky" starring Sally Hawkins; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay

2004

Wrote and directed "Vera Drake," a drama about a woman who illegally helps women induce miscarriages in 1950s England; earned an Oscar nomination for directing and writing

2002

Again collaborated with actor Timothy Spall for "All or Nothing"

1999

Re-teamed with Jim Broadbent for the musical drama "Topsy-Turvy"

1996

Helmed the critically and commercially successful film "Secrets & Lies"; re-teamed with Timothy Spall

1993

Wrote and directed the British film "Naked"

1991

Commissioned by the London Film Festival to direct a new promotional trailer for the event, "Moving Pictures"

1990

Directed third film "Life is Sweet" starring Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall and wife, Alison Steadman

1988

Directed "High Hopes," about an extended working-class family living in King's Cross, London

1984

Directed the TV movie, "Meantime" (Channel 4)

1982

Was the subject of the BBC film "Mike Leigh Making Plays"

1979

Directed and wrote the radio play, "Too Much of a Good Thing"

1977

Helmed "Abigail's Party," for BBC television's "Play For Today"; starred his then wife Alison Steadman

1976

Wrote and directed "Nuts in May," aired on BBC television's "Play For Today"

1975

Made series of five "Five Minute Films" (first broadcast in 1982)

1973

First TV drama "Hard Labour," aired on BBC television's "Play For Today"

1972

Wrote and directed debut feature film, "Bleak Moments"

1966

Formed Dramagraph production company with author David Halliwell; produced Halliwell's play, "Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs" (Leigh directed); company went bankrupt

1965

Associate director of the Midlands Arts Centre Theatre

1965

Wrote and directed first play, "The Box Play," which was produced at Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham

Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as an assistant director

Spent one year as assistant stage manager and bit part actor

Co-founded with Simon Channing-Williams and Adam Bernstein, Imagine Productions, a film, TV and video production House

Bonus Trivia

.

Created an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1998

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Leigh's theater credits include "Babies Grow Old" (1974), "The Silent Majority" (1974), "Abigail's Party" (1977), "Ecstasy" (1979) and "Smelling a Rat" (1988). His BBC credits include "Hard Labour" (1973), "Home Sweet Home" (1982) and "Four Days in July" (1984).

.

Leigh received the Order of the British Empire in 1993.

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