Lee Daniels

  • Celebrity
  • Birth Name: Leonardo Louis Daniels
  • Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Profession: Producer, Director
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Fast Facts

  • His father was a policeman who was gunned down in a bar while off duty in 1975.
  • Moved to Hollywood after quitting college and worked as a receptionist for a nursing agency before successfully starting up a health-care agency of his own by the age of 22.
  • Acting on the advice of a producer working for singer Prince, began a career as a music-video casting director.
  • With his former partner Billy Hopkins, adopted the baby twins of his jail-bound brother when they were 3 days old.
  • Formed production company Lee Daniels Entertainment in 1984; its first feature effort, Monster's Ball (2001), earned two Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress win for Halle Berry.
  • In 2004, produced public service announcements encouraging young people of color to vote.
  • Directorial debut came with the crime thriller Shadowboxer (2005), a violent and sexually explicit film about professional assassins who are also lovers. 
  • The first African-American to receive a nod from the Director's Guild of America and only the second nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Director category for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (2009).


  • 2009, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2009, Sundance Film Festival — Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic: Winner
  • 2009, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
  • 2009, Toronto International Film Festival — People's Choice Award: Winner
  • 2005, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature: Nominee
  • 2010, Producers Guild Awards — Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: Nominee
  • 2009, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Nominee
  • 2010, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Director: Winner
  • 2010, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 2010, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Feature: Winner
  • 2009, Sundance Film Festival — Audience Award: Dramatic: Winner
  • 2010, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Film: Nominee


  • William Daniels — Father
  • Clara Daniels — Daughter
  • Liam Daniels — Son
  • Billy Hopkins — Ex-significant Other
  • Clara Daniels — Mother
  • Leah Daniels-Butler — Sister
  • Andy Sforzini — Significant Other


  • Attended Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri, United States


  • Birth Name: Leonardo Louis Daniels
  • Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Profession: Producer, Director