My Left Foot
Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis gained acclaimed for his outstanding portrayal of Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in Martin Scorsese’s crime film Gangs of New York (2002). He won several awards, including a Vancouver Film Critics Circle, a Screen Actors Guild, a Broadcast Film Critics Association award, a Las Vegas Film Critics Society award, a BAFTA, a Florida Film Critics Circle, as well as a Kansas City Film Critics Circle award. One of the most engaging leading men of his generation, Day-Lewis received even more recognition after playing the starring role of cerebral palsy-stricken writer and artist Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan’s drama film My Left Foot (1989), in which he took home a prestigious Academy Award in 1990. Additionally, his spectacular acting handed him a Los Angeles Film Critics award, a New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics awards. Formerly, the gifted actor drew praise for his scene-stealing, gay street punk Johnny in the drama My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and for his portrayal of intolerable Edwardian prig Cecil Vyse in the comedy A Room With a View (1985). Due to his bravura acting, Day-Lewis nabbed the 1986 New York Film Critics Circle award and the 1986 National Board of Review award.
Off screen, Day-Lewis, who is often referred to as the "English Robert De Niro," was listed as one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” in 1990 and in 2003. He was also chosen as the 11th of Empire magazine’ “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995) and number 25 on Empire magazine's “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” (1997). As for his private life, 6' 1 1/2" inch tall Day-Lewis had a long-term romance with Isabelle Adjani (dated from 1989-1994), with whom he shared a son named Gabriel-Kane Adjani. After the relationship ended, Day-Lewis was next linked with actress Julia Roberts (together 1994-1995) and physical trainer Deya Pichardo (dated 1995-1996) before marrying director/actress Rebecca Miller on November 13, 1996. With his wife, Day-Lewis has two sons, Ronan Cal Day-Lewis and Cashel Blake Day-Lewis.
Childhood and Family:
In London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis was born on April 29, 1957. He is the second child of Irish-born Protestant poet Cecil Day-Lewis (Poet Laureate of England) and English Jewish actress Jill Balcon, and the maternal grandson of Sir Michael Balcon, a key figure in the history of British cinema. Daniel also grew up with his only sister, a documentary director named Lydia Tamasin Day-Lewis. Inspired by his family background, Daniel discovered an early interest in acting.
Of Jewish/half-Irish origin, Daniel was once teased as an outsider because of his heritage. A quiet and an introverted person, young Daniel was an unpopular student among his school peers. Instead of going out with friends, he developed a rich, fancy life that later helped him explore roles.
Daniel attended the Sevenoaks and Bedales Schools in England, but left his studies at the age of 13. Daniel then studied acting by attending the Bristol Old Vic Theater School in London. He was also once a student at the Bristol Arts Centre.
Day-Lewis tied the knot with the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, actress/filmmaker Rebecca Miller, on November 13, 1996. Two years later, the couple welcomed their first son, Ronan Cal Day-Lewis, on June 14, 1998, and their second son, Cashel Blake Day-Lewis, followed on May 2000. Day-Lewis also has one son, Gabriel-Kane Adjani (born on April 9, 1995), from his previous relationship with French actress Isabelle Adjani. He currently resides in Ireland with his wife and sons.
Gangs of New York
Initiating acting in a Sevenoaks’ production of "Cry, the Beloved Country," thirteen-year-old Daniel Day-Lewis decided to drop out of school to try his hand in acting. After leaving school, he subsequently made a screen debut performance by playing the bit part of a child vandal in John Schlesinger's Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971). Day-Lewis, however, opted to concentrate on his theatrical training and for the rest of the decade, performed with Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 1981, after getting his feet wet in a number of stage productions, Day-Lewis returned to the screen with a feature role in the made-for-television film Artemis 81 (1981), and performances in the British television films How Many Miles to Babylon (1982) and Frost in May (1982). He went on to also take roles in such films as Gandhi (1982), The Bounty (1984) and My Brother Jonathan (1985, TV).
Day-Lewis’ first brush with fame eventually arrived in 1985 when he was cast in the supporting role of half of a gay, biracial pair in Stephen Frears’ drama My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and played snooty, clumsy, upper-class-dandy Cecil Vyse in James Ivory’s comedy A Room With a View (1985). With his chameleon-like versatility, Day-Lewis wooed critics and audiences alike. As a result, he was garnered with a New York Film Critics Circle and a National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant work in the two films. Beautiful Laundrette and A Room with a View premiered on the same day in New York.
Finishing The Insurance Man (1986,TV) and Nanou (1986), in 1988, Day-Lewis made an American film debut by playing the lead of Henderson Dores in the little-seen Stars and Bars (1988), and gained leading man status as playboy Tomas in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988, alongside Juliette Binoche).
1989 was Day-Lewis' big breakthrough year. Director Jim Sheridan handed him the highly-praised starring role of palsy-stricken writer and artist Christy Brown in his drama film My Left Foot (1989). Day-Lewis’ spectacular performance was rewarded with several awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor, a Los Angeles Film Critics award, a New York Film Critics and a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Actor.
The same year, he also starred in the comedy film Eversmile, New Jersey (1989), and made his way back to the stage in a production of "Hamlet" at the National Theatre in London. Unfortunately, Day-Lewis had to abandon the play during the end of its run because of "nervous exhaustion." Following his collapse, Day-Lewis took a few years off from films.
The actor returned in 1992 to star in Michael Mann's hit The Last of the Mohicans. Following the success of the film, Day-Lewis gained a reputation as an eccentric sex symbol. He next showcased his versatility as a turn-of-the-century New York society man, Newland Archer, in Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (1993), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. Starring as Gerry Conlon, an Irish man wrongfully convicted of taking part in an IRA bombing, in Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father (1993), Day-Lewis’ fine acting brought him Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor. Three years later, in 1996, he rejoined Winona Ryder to star in Nicholas Hytner's adaptation of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1996), and his third film with Sheridan, The Boxer, was released the following year.
Day-Lewis then made a decision to "retire" from screen acting.
Vanishing from the screen for five years, Day-Lewis returned to the spotlight with his stunning role of Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, in the movie Gangs of New York (2002). With Martin Scorsese directing at the helm, he picked up such awards as a Vancouver Film Critics Circle, a Screen Actors Guild, a Broadcast Film Critics Association, a Las Vegas Film Critics Society, a BAFTA, a Florida Film Critics Circle and Kansas City Film Critics Circle in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. His winning performance, however, has not provided evidence to tempt Day-Lewis out of retirement.
I have no plans to work on a film any time soon. I've managed to avoid it for the past five years.” Daniel Day-Lewis
Recently, British actor Daniel Day-Lewis starred opposite Catherine Keener, Camilla Belle, and Beau Bridges in the drama film The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005), directed by his wife. The film is about Jack (played by Day-Lewis) and his 16-year-old daughter Rose (played by Camilla Belle) and their unusually close bond.