Very few directors made historical films quite like Tom Hooper did. He had the gift of seemingly getting inside the minds of some of the most powerful figures in history and exploring onscreen their struggles, vanities, failures and successes. The British director first gained international acclaim with the biopic, "Elizabeth I" (Channel 4, 2005), a moving portrayal of the later years of the nearly 45-year-long reign of Elizabeth I of England. He also earned critical accolades for directing the award-winning epic miniseries "John Adams" (HBO, 2008), which explored the role of President John Adams in the founding of the United States. His career rose to new heights after he helmed "The King's Speech" (2010), a film that captured the riveting bond between an insecure monarch and the therapist who helped him overcome a debilitating speech impediment. The picture, which received several Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, helped establish Hooper as an authoritative cinematic voice. By the time he directed the highly anticipated adaptation of "Les Misérables" (2012), Hooper was one of Hollywood's most sought-after directors.