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Sam Mendes Biography

Birth Name:
Samuel Alexander Mendes
Birth Place:
Reading, England
Director, producer

Fast Facts

  • Began directing for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1990 when he was 25 years old
  • Won Best Director at the 1996 Laurence Olivier Awards for Company and The Glass Menagerie, and became the Awards' first triple winner in 2003 when he received Best Director for Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya, as well as a special award for his work as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse theater
  • His feature-film directorial debut came in 1999 with the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning American Beauty
  • Received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Directors Guild of Great Britain Awards in 2005, despite having directed only two features at that point in his career
  • Engaged in early talks with composer Stephen Sondheim to create a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical Sweeney Todd, but the project fell through
  • Tim Burton later stepped up to direct the film in 2007


  • 2020Writers Guild Awards-Original Screenplay: nominated
  • 2020BAFTA Film Awards-Best Director: winner
  • 2020Producers Guild Awards-Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: winner
  • 2020Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: winner
  • 2019Oscar-Best Writing (Original Screenplay): nominated
  • 2019Oscar-Best Motion Picture of the Year: nominated
  • 2019Oscar-Best Achievement in Directing: nominated
  • 2019Directors Guild of America Awards-Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: winner
  • 2019Critics' Choice Awards-Best Director: winner
  • 2013BAFTA Film Awards-Outstanding British Film: winner
  • 2013David di Donatello Awards-Best European Film: nominated
  • 2009Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2001César Awards-Best Foreign Film: nominated
  • 2000Critics' Choice Awards-Best Director: winner
  • 2000BAFTA Film Awards-The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: nominated
  • 2000Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: winner
  • 1999Directors Guild of America Awards-Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: winner
  • 1999Chicago Film Critics Association-Best Director: winner
  • 1999Toronto Film Critics Association-Best Director [Runner-up]: winner
  • 1999Los Angeles Film Critics Association-Best Director: winner
  • 1999Toronto International Film Festival-People's Choice Award: winner
  • 1999Oscar-Best Achievement in Directing: winner