David Lean Biography

Producer, Director, Screenwriter (1908–1991)
David Lean was a British director and screenwriter best known for his spectacular cinematography and adaptations of Charles Dickens classics, including Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948).


Born on March 25, 1908, in Croydon, Surrey, England, David Lean worked his way through British cinema to become of the highest-paid film editors of the 1930s. He is best known for his Charles Dickens adaptations, including Great Expectations (1946)—for which he earned an Academy Award nomination—and the classic Oliver Twist (1948). One of his most noted works is the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. The film earned seven Academy Awards, including for best picture and best director. Lean’s films were known for their spectacular visuals and cinematography. He died on April 16, 1991.

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