Anthony Minghella Biography

Playwright, Television Producer, Screenwriter, Director (1954–2008)
Anthony Minghella was an Academy Award-winning director best known for his adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Released in 1996, the film claimed the Oscar for best picture in 1997.


Anthony Minghella was born on January 6, 1954, on the Isle of Wight, England. He began his career scripting children's television shows for the BBC and for Jim Henson's The Storyteller. Minghella made his directorial film debut in 1990 with the film Truly, Madly, Deeply. In 1996, he won an Academy Award (best director) for his adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel The English Patient. His other films include The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain. Minghella died in 2008 from hemorrhage after surgery.


Born January 6, 1954, on the Isle of Wight, England. The son of Italian immigrants, Minghella graduated from the University of Hull where he studied English and drama.

He began his career in television in the 1980s, scripting children's shows for the BBC and for Jim Henson's The Storyteller.

Minghella's directorial film debut, Truly, Madly, Deeply, was released to great reviews in 1990. In 1996, Minghella tackled the screenplay adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient. He won a Best Director Academy Award for the beautifully filmed epic starring Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche.

His next project, The Talented Mr. Ripley, was another screen adaptation, this time starring Matt Damon as an outsider who covets the life of a wealthy playboy. In 2003, he wrote and directed the blockbuster Cold Mountain, adapted from Charles Frazier's bestselling book.

Minghella also directs for the stage; his first opera was Puccini's Madame Butterfly in 2005, and he served as chairman of the British Film Institute.

Minghella died March 18, 2008, after suffering a fatal hemorrhage at Charing Cross Hospital in London. At the time of his death, he was working on the film, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. He is survived by Hong Kong choreographer, Carolyn Choa and their two children.

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