Anthony Minghella

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Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella, (1954 — 2008).jpg
Born (1954-01-06)6 January 1954
Ryde, Isle of Wight, England
Died 18 March 2008(2008-03-18) (aged 54)
Hammersmith, London, England
Other names Anthony Minghella CBE
Occupation Director, producer, screenwriter, actor
Years active 1981–2008
Spouse(s) Carolyn Jane Choa
Children Max, Hannah

Anthony Minghella, CBE (6 January 1954 – 18 March 2008) was a British film director, playwright and screenwriter. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors at the British Film Institute between 2003 and 2007.

He won the Academy Award for Best Director for The English Patient (1996), which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA Award for Best Film and Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Early life[edit]

Minghella was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, son of ice cream factory owners: Leeds-born Gloria Alberta (née Arcari; her ancestors originally came from Valvori, a small village in the Lazio region of central Italy) and Edward Minghella (an Italian immigrant).[1][2]

Minghella attended St. Mary's Primary School, Ryde, Sandown Grammar School and St. John's, Portsmouth. He also attended the University of Hull, studying Drama. After several years of teaching at the same university (Samuel Beckett and medieval theatre), he abandoned his PhD. pursuit at the University of Hull to work for the BBC.[3]

Career[edit]

His debut work was a stage adaptation of Gabriel Josipovici's Mobius the Stripper (1975) and it was his Whale Music (1985) brought him notice.[4] His double bill of Samuel Beckett's Play and Happy Days was his directorial debut and debut feature film as a director was A Little Like Drowning (1978).

During the 1980s, he worked in television, starting as a runner on Magpie before moving into script editing the children's drama series Grange Hill for the BBC and later writing The Storyteller series for Jim Henson. He also wrote several episodes of the ITV detective drama Inspector Morse and an episode of long-running ITV drama Boon. Made in Bangkok (1986) found mainstream success in the West End.

Radio success followed with a Giles Cooper Award for the radio drama Cigarettes and Chocolate[5][dead link] first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1988. It was revived on 3 May 2008 as a tribute to its author director following his death. His production starred Juliet Stevenson, Bill Nighy and Jenny Howe. His first radio play Hang Up, starring Anton Lesser and Juliet Stevenson, was revived on 10 May 2008 as part of the BBC Radio 4 Minghella season.[6]

Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), a feature drama written and directed for the BBC's Screen Two anthology strand, bypassed TV broadcast and instead had a cinema release. He bypassed an offer of another Inspector Morse directorial to do the project, the later he believed would have been a much higher-profile assignment.

With The English Patient (1996; director) started his Academy Awards winning accomplishments, including: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999; the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay).

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, a pilot episode television adaptation which he co-wrote and directed, was broadcast posthumously on BBC One (23 March 2008); watched by 6.3 million viewers.

He vocally supported I Know I'm Not Alone, a film of musician Michael Franti's peacemaking excursions into Iraq, Palestine and Israel.

He directed a party election broadcast for the Labour Party in 2005. The short film depicted Tony Blair and Gordon Brown working together and was criticised for being insincere: "The Anthony Minghella party political broadcast last year was full of body language fibs", said Peter Collett, a psychologist at the University of Oxford. "When you are talking to me, I'll give you my full attention only if I think you are very high status or if I love you. On that party political broadcast, they are staring at each other like lovers. It is completely false."[7]

With Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday celebrations, he returned to radio on BBC Radio 3 with Eyes Down Looking (2006), with: Jude Law, Juliet Stevenson and David Threlfall.[8]

An operatic directorial debut came with Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Premiered at the English National Opera (London, 2005), then at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (Vilnius, March 2006) and at the Metropolitan Opera (New York City, September 2006). The latter was transmitted live into cinemas worldwide (March 7, 2008) as part of the Met's HD series and is now available on DVD. His was honoured with the naming of The Anthony Minghella Theatre at the Quay Arts Centre (Isle of Wight). He made an appearance in Atonement (film, 2007), as a television host interviewing the novelist central to the story. His death was the day the film was released on home video.

His last work was the screenplay of the film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Nine (1982); Arthur Kopit (book) and Maury Yeston (score). It is based on the film . He shared credit with Michael Tolkin on the screenplay.

Personal life[edit]

In 1985, Minghella married Hong Kong–born choreographer and dancer Carolyn Jane Choa.[2] His brother, Dominic Minghella, is the creator of the popular British television series Robin Hood (BBC) and Doc Martin, and a scriptwriter. Minghella's son, Max, is an actor. His daughter Hannah worked as a production assistant on The Talented Mr. Ripley, and is currently President of Sony Pictures Animation.[9] His sister Loretta is Director of Christian Aid,[10] his sister Edana participated in a jazz event on the Isle of Wight, and his nephew Dante is one of the participants in Channel 4's Child Genius series.

He was a big Portsmouth fan and appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Hallowed Be Thy Game. His home had two double bedrooms dedicated to the display of Portsmouth memorabilia dating back to the club's founding in 1898.[11][12]

Minghella died of a haemorrhage on 18 March 2008 in Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith, following an operation the previous week to remove cancer of the tonsils and neck.[13][14]

Filmography[edit]

Director[edit]

Year Title Oscar
nominations
Oscar
wins
BAFTA
nominations
BAFTA
wins
1978
A Little Like Drowning
1990
Truly, Madly, Deeply
3
1
1993
Mr. Wonderful
1996
The English Patient
12
9
13
6
1999
The Talented Mr. Ripley
5
7
1
2000
Play
2003
Cold Mountain
7
1
13
2
2006
Breaking and Entering
2008
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
2001
Iris Executive Producer
2002
Heaven
The Quiet American Executive Producer
2005
The Interpreter Executive Producer
2006
Catch a Fire
Breaking and Entering
2007
Michael Clayton Executive Producer
2008
The Reader Nominated for an Academy Award posthumously
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Love You More
2011
Margaret

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role
1978
A Little Like Drowning Eduardo
2007
Atonement Interviewer

Selected plays[edit]

  • Whale Music (New End Theatre, Hampstead, June 1981); revived for radio, BBC Radio 4, 10 May 2008
  • Two Planks And A Passion[15] (Greenwich Theatre, November 1984)
  • A Little Like Drowning (Hampstead Theatre, July 1984)
  • Made in Bangkok (West End debut as a playwright, Aldwych Theatre. 18 March 1986, director Michael Blakemore)
  • Hang Up (radio play for BBC Radio 4,1987)
  • Cigarettes and Chocolate (60-minute radio play for BBC Radio 4, 1988)
  • Eyes Down Looking (Beckett 100th Birthday tribute, radio play for BBC Radio 3, 1 April 2006)

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Anthony Minghella bio". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/printable/100058; Lyall, Sarah (14 December 2006). "In the Spotlight, Two Sides of London". The New York Times. .
  3. ^ http://www.starpulse.com/Actors/Minghella,_Anthony/Biography/; viewed 1-24-2014.
  4. ^ "Anthony Minghella at Hollywood.com". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Saturday Play, Cigarettes and Chocolate". BBC News. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Hemley, Matthew (25 April 2008). "BBC radio to air Minghella play season". The Stage. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Mark (6 September 2006). "The science behind their mutual dislike". The Times Online (London). Retrieved 18 March 2008. 
  8. ^ Koek, Ariane (1 April 2006). "BBC – Radio 3 – The Verb – Beckett centenary". BBC. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  9. ^ David S. Cohen and Tatiana Siegel (14 March 2008). "Osher named Sony Digital president". Variety. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Christian Aid About Us". Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  11. ^ Anthony Minghella portsmouthfc.co.uk, Official site, 18 March 2008
  12. ^ Oliver Duff, Pandora: Director's dream for Pompey The Independent, 19 March 2008
  13. ^ Oscar-winner Minghella dies after cancer op
  14. ^ Carr, David (18 March 2008). "Anthony Minghella, Director, Dies at 54.". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008. 
  15. ^ Set in 1392, the play by Anthony Minghella hilariously recounts the citizens of York staging a medieval production of the Mystery Plays, ready for King Richard II and Queen Anne’s visit to the city. Suddenly the entire community of York explodes in a fever of affectation, expense and comical posturing, as rival guilds battle it out to impress the royal party with their wagon plays.

External links[edit]