Armed with a keen visual awareness and compelling ability to tell a story, director Stephen Frears became established in British cinema and television during the 1970s and 1980s before receiving international acclaim for "My Beautiful Laundrette" (1986). From there, Frears balanced careers in both America and his native England, helming the critically acclaimed British biopic "Prick Up Your Ears" (1987), while pushing boundaries with the lavish "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). He went on to helm one of the best neo-noirs of the postmodern age, "The Grifters" (1990), which earned some of the best praise of his career. Though he no doubt could have further developed his Hollywood credentials, Frears instead returned to England to direct smaller indies like "The Snapper" (1993) and "The Van" (1996). His return to the studio fold proved disastrous with "Mary Reilly" (1996), a commercial and critical flop that marked one of the few low points of his career. Frears soon bounced back with a sharp adaptation of countryman Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" (2000), before earning more critical acclaim for his smart thriller "Dirty Pretty Things" (2003). With "The Queen" (2006), arguably one of his finest achievements, particularly in drawing an exemplary performance from star Helen Mirren, Frears cemented his place as one of England's most diverse and celebrated directors.