- NAME: Sam Mendes
- OCCUPATION: Director, Producer
- BIRTH DATE: August 01, 1965 (Age: 48)
- EDUCATION: Magdalen College School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Samuel Alexander Mendes, CBE
- AKA: Sam Alexander Mendes
- AKA: Samuel Alexander Mendes
- AKA: Sam Mendes
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
English stage and film director Sam Mendes won an Oscar for American Beauty, and went on to direct films like Jarhead, Revolutionary Road and Skyfall.
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Born in England on August 1, 1965, Sam Mendes is a stage director and an Academy Award-winning film director. In 1992, Mendes was appointed artistic director of London's Donmar Warehouse, attracting some of the world's finest actors to appear in Assassins, The Glass Menagerie and Habeas Corpus. Mendes's most acclaimed directorial work includes his dark 1998 production of Cabaret; his debut film, American Beauty (1999),
"If my career ... amounts to one-tenth of what [Billy Wilder's] has been, I will be a very happy man."
which earned him the 2000 Academy Award for best director; 2005's Jarhead; and his 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall. He's garnered fame for several other cinematic works, including The Kite Runner (2007), Revolutionary Road (2008) and the 2010 documentary Out of the Ashes.
Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes was born Samuel Alexander Mendes on August 1, 1965, in Reading, Berkshire, England. With a bloodline of successful writers and scholars, Mendes seemed to be destined for a career in the arts: He is the grandson of popular Trinidadian novelist Alfred Mendes, and son of Jameson Peter Mendes and Valerie Helene (Barnett) Mendes, a literature professor and successful fiction author/publisher, respectively. His family's influence was apparent early on; by the time Mendes was 5 years old—around the time of his parents' divorce—he had developed an affinity for writing, theater and film.
Receiving a good education helped Mendes's passions evolve into talents. After graduating from the Magdalen College School, Mendes enrolled at the University of Cambridge, graduating with an honors degree in English in 1987. Following graduation, he landed an entry-level position at the Chichester Festival Theatre, located in England's West Sussex County.
While working at Chichester, at age 25, Mendes was asked to fill in as director for a comedy stage production. The show was a success, spurring further job offers for the recent graduate. In the late 1980s, Mendes directed actress Judi Dench in a production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, which garnered strong reviews. Around the same time, he was hired as a director at both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. Mendes headed various stage productions during this time, including The Sea, Othello, and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
In the early 1990s, Mendes began a new directing position; he was appointed artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, a nonprofit theater in London's West End. Mendes served in that position for nearly a decade, and is credited with attracting some of the world's finest actors to appear in many Donmar productions, including Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, Mendes's opening play in 1992; Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie; and Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus.
The late 1990s marked a big career move for Mendes, who, by this time, had become well-known among colleagues and revered for his stage work.
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