Stephen Daldry
Birth Date:
May 2, 1961
Birth Place:
Dorset, England, UK
6' 2
Famous for:
Director of 'Billy Elliot' (2000)
director, producer
University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
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Billy Elliot


British stage and film director Stephen Daldry won Tony's Best Director (Play) in 1994 for his work in the revival of J. B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls." He was nominated for two Oscars for his directing job for the films "Billy Elliot" (2000) and "The Hours" (2002). He recently received a Golden Globe nomination for directing the film adaptation of "The Reader" (2008) and is currently sitting in the director's chair for the upcoming film "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," which reportedly will star Tobey Maguire, Jamie Bell, and Natalie Portman.

Daldry ranked #92 on Premiere's 2003 annual “Power 100 List.”

The 6' 2" bisexual filmmaker has been married to actress Lucy Sexton since 2001 and has one daughter with her.

Stephen David

Childhood and Family:

Son of bank manager Patrick Daldry and singer Cherry Thompson, Stephen David Daldry was born on May 2, 1961, in Dorset, England. He was educated at the University of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, and trained at the Crucible Theatre, where he was Chairman of SuTCo (Sheffield University Theatre Company). He later took an apprenticeship at the city's Crucible Theatre from 1985-1988.

"My father always expected me to work in a shirt factory in Taunton making Van Heusen shirts. He would have been very surprised, but he died when I was 15 (saving me from the shirts). When I got married, my mother was very surprised. She said: 'What on earth is going on? I thought you were gay?’” Stephen Daldry

Bisexual, Daldry was once involved with Ian MacNeil, the son of TV commentator Robert MacNeil. On October 18, 2001, he married American performance artist Lucy Sexton in New York City. They have one daughter together, Annabel Clare Daldry (born in May 2003).

"What's so funny is when people say, 'Oh, does that mean you're not gay anymore?' And you go, 'Oh, give me a break. What do you mean?' We wanted to have kids! We thought we'd get married and have kids. We're allowed to do everything. I refuse to be boxed in to the idea that 'Oh, no, I can't have kids cause I'm gay.' I can have kids if I'm gay and I can also get married and have a fantastic life. To all questions [having to do] with my marriage, the answer to everything is yes. Do I have sex with my wife? Yes. Is it a real marriage? Yes. Am I gay? Yes." Stephen Daldry

The Hours


Beginning his stage career in a youth theatre in Taunton, England, Stephen Daldry began directing productions while attending the Sheffield Crucible, where he also worked as an associate artist for the Crucible Theatre in 1985 and served in an apprenticeship until 1988. He also headed many productions at the Manchester Library Theatre, the Liverpool Playhouse, Stratford East, the Oxford Stage, Brighton and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He also served as the Artistic Director for the Metro Theatre Company from 1984 to 1986 and for the Gate Theatre in West London from 1989 to 1992.

From 1992 to 1997, Daldry became the Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre. During this time, he directed the revival of J. B. Priestley's “An Inspector Calls” for the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre and was awarded the Best Director at the Tony Awards, the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, the London Critics Circle Theatre Awards (Drama Theatre Awards), and the Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards. He was also awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1994 (1993 season) for Best Director of a Play at the Royal National Theatre.

In 1994, Daldry made his Broadway debut with the acclaimed revival of “An Inspector Calls.” The following year, he staged the acclaimed revival of “Rat in the Skull” (1995), starring Tony Doyle and Rufus Sewell. He also directed a BBC documentary on The Royal Court Theatre in 1996.

The late 1990s saw Daldry co-direct the film “Eight” (1998), a short piece about an eight-year-old soccer fan who has to come to terms with living in a strange new town and the loss of his father. The film received a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Short Film. He also directed David Hare in the one-person show “Via Dolorosa” (1998) in London and on Broadway.

Entering the new millennium, Daldry directed the British stage production of “Far Away” at The Royal Court Theater and made his feature film debut as director in “Billy Elliot,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. The film that stars Jamie Bell as an 11-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, also won awards at the Austin Film Festival (Audience Award - Best Distributed Feature Film), the British Independent Film Awards (Best Director), the Czech Lions (Best Foreign Language Film), the Lumiere Awards (France: Best Foreign Film), and many others.

Following his stunning debut, Daldry went on to direct his second film, “The Hours” (2002), which is an adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer-winning novel. The film that stars Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep was a successful one and Stephen received Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar nominations for Best Director. The movie also won Best American Film at the Robert Festival, Best Foreign Feature Film at the Amanda Awards (Norway), the David Lean Award for Direction at the BAFTA Awards, the Reader Jury award of the Berliner Morgenpost at the Berlin International Film Festival, Best Foreign Film at the German Film Awards, and Best Director at the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

During this time, Daldry also helmed Caryl Churchill's play "A Number" (September 2002) at the Royal Court Jerwood Theater Downstairs, in London, England, and Caryl Churchill's "Far Away" (November 2002) at the New York Theater Workshop, in New York City, New York.

In 2005, Daldry directed a stage musical adaptation of “Billy Elliot” in London's West End, which would later be transferred to Broadway in August 2008, and "Billy Elliot The Musical" at the Victoria Palace Theatre, in London. He also brought "Billy Elliot The Musical" to The Capitol Theatre, in Sydney, Australia, in December 2007.

Recently, Daldry helmed the film adaption of an award-winning novel by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink, “The Reader” (2008), starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet. It earned Daldry Best Director nominations at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA Awards, and the Satellite Awards.

On what pulled him toward the "The Reader" project, Daldry explained, "Well, just ‘cuz of the story. And I’d spent a lot of time in Germany as a child, learning German. And then in my 30s, I spent a lot of time in Berlin because I used to run a theater in England called the Royal Court Theatre and we had a very strong relationship with a theater in Berlin called the Deutsches Theater, so we built up very strong relationships there, and I’ve been fascinated by Germany from my schoolboy years. I’m fascinated with this country that’s been through so much, a country that’s coming to terms with genocide, a post-genocidal society. I think the questions that (author) Mr. Schlink asks, which are very personal for him, are how do you love? How is it possible to love in that context? How do you love your parents, your teachers, your pastors, or any of your lovers? Does that invalidate the love? Does it mean the love didn’t exist? And how do you continue? Is it possible to continue with those relationships when you have the knowledge that they were actively, in this case, involved in the Holocaust, or even passively involved in the Holocaust as many millions of Germans were? How is it even possible to continue, as a human being?"

And commenting on Kate Winslet, he said, “The great thing about Kate is she’s a transformative actress, and because of that you can go anywhere you like with it, really. So we spent a lot of time in prep, a lot of time rehearsing with little David (Kross), the young German actor.”

Daldry is currently on the Board of the Young and Old Vic Theatres and remains an Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre. He is also working on a new film, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," which is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Chabon. It reportedly will star Tobey Maguire, Jamie Bell, and Natalie Portman.

“One of the great things about directors is how collegial we feel with each other. We share huge amounts. I get other directors in to see my work all the time and they do the same with me. It's a very warm and generous group of people.” Stephen Daldry


  • Robert Festival: Best American Film, “The Hours,” 2004

  • Amanda Awards, Norway: Best Foreign Feature Film, “The Hours,” 2003

  • BAFTA: David Lean Award for Direction, “The Hours,” 2003

  • Berlin International Film Festival: Reader Jury of the Berliner Morgenpost, “The Hours,” 2003

  • German Film: Best Foreign Film, “The Hours,” 2003

  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle: Best Director, “The Hours,” 2003

  • Austin Film Festival: Audience Award - Best Distributed Feature Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2002

  • British Independent Film: Best Director, “Billy Elliot,” 2002

  • Czech Lions: Best Foreign Language Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2002

  • Lumiere Awards, France: Best Foreign Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2002

  • Amanda Awards, Norway: Best Foreign Feature Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • BAFTA: Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • BAFTA: David Lean Award for Direction, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Silver Ribbon - Best Director - Foreign Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • London Critics Circle Film: British Director of the Year, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • Norwegian International Film Festival: Silver Clod - Best Foreign Film of the Year, “Billy Elliot,” 2001

  • Stockholm Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize - Competition, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Castellinaria International Festival of Young Cinema: Golden Castle, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Dinard British Film Festival: Audience Award, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Dinard British Film Festival: Golden Hitchcock, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Edinburgh International Film Festival: Audience Award, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Flanders International Film Festival: Audience Award, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Flanders International Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize - Special Mention, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Molodist International Film Festival: Best Film Award - Best Full-Length Fiction Film, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Motovun Film Festival: Propeller of Motovun, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Norwegian International Film Festival: Most Enjoyable Film (Theatre Owners), “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • São Paulo International Film Festival: International Jury Award, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Stockholm Film Festival: Audience Award, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Stockholm Film Festival: Best Directorial Debut, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Valladolid International Film Festival: Best New Director, “Billy Elliot,” 2000

  • Tony: Best Director (Play), "An Inspector Calls," 1994

  • Laurence Olivier Theatre: Best Director of a Play, “Machinal,” 1994

  • Laurence Olivier Theatre Award: Best Director for a Play, “An Inspector Calls,” 1993

  • London Evening Standard Theatre: Best Director, “An Inspector Calls,” 1992

  • London Critics Circle Theatre (Drama Theatre Award): Best Director, “An Inspector Calls,” 1992

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