Mimi Leder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mimi Leder
Born Miriam Leder
(1952-01-26) January 26, 1952 (age 62)
New York City, US
Nationality United States
Occupation Film director, film producer, script supervisor
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Gary Werntz
Children 1

Miriam "Mimi" Leder (born January 26, 1952) is an American film director and producer noted for her action films and use of special effects.[1] She was the first female graduate of the AFI Conservatory in 1973.

Early life[edit]

Leder was born in New York City in 1952, the daughter of Etyl, a classical pianist, and Paul Leder, a director, producer, actor, writer, and editor.[2] Mimi was raised in Los Angeles, in a Jewish home.[3] During childhood, her dad, a low-budget independent filmmaker, introduced Mimi and her siblings to film production. Having worked for the majority of her life in film gave her the skill and confidence to be the first woman accepted into the American Film Institute. She studied cinematography but enjoyed working with actors and telling stories.

Film career[edit]

Leder began her career as a script supervisor on a string of films, including Spawn of the Slithis (1978), Dummy (1979), The Boy Who Drank Too Much (1980), and A Long Way Home (1980), before moving on to the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981). After making a short film, Short Order Dreams, written and funded by her father Paul,[4] she screened it for Steven Bochco, creator of Hill Street Blues, and his friend Gregory Hoblit who hired her to direct an episode of L.A. Law.

In 1988 Leder went on to direct episodes of Crime Story, The Bronx Zoo, Midnight Caller, before getting hired to direct several episodes of China Beach (1988–91) for which she was nominated for four Emmys. She decided to make a few made-for-TV films, Woman with a Past (1992), House of Secrets (1993), and Baby Brokers (1994) before getting hired as one of the core directors for ER (1994–2009). She made proficient use of her cinematography background and the Steadicam to create high energy scenes that moved around the corridors and rooms of the hospital. The show earned her Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series in 1995 and 1996. She returned to direct an episode of the series during its final season in 2009. She was receiving much attention and soon received a job offer from Steven Spielberg as director of the film The Peacemaker (1997), an action-adventure film that she insists she sees as a drama.[5] Leder became one of only a handful of woman directors to break into the action genre,[6] and her assignment to this film generated much press about the opportunities for women directors in Hollywood. She studied trains and other visual effects to prepare herself for the film and is proud of the results.[7]

Continuing to work for DreamWorks, she directed Deep Impact (1998) and Pay It Forward (2000) while simultaneously creating a personal love story about her parents, Sentimental Journey (1999). Since then, Leder has been moving back and forth between television and film, executive producing and/or directing such television series as The Beast (2001), John Doe (2002), Johnny Zero (2004), and Vanished (2006), and films or made-for-TV movies such as Thick as Thieves (2009), U.S. Attorney (2009), and Heavenly (2011).[8]

In 2011, she was named as director for a proposed remake of the film All Quiet on the Western Front.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Leder has one daughter, Hannah, with her husband Gary Werntz.

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Year Title
1997 The Peacemaker
1998 Deep Impact
1999 Sentimental Journey
2000 Pay It Forward
2009 Thick as Thieves

Television[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Producer
1987 L.A. Law Yes
1988 A Year in the Life Yes
Crime Story Yes
The Bronx Zoo Yes
Nightingales Yes TV movie
Midnight Caller Yes
1990 Sisters Yes
1988–1991 China Beach Yes Yes Director (13 episodes, 1988–1991)
Producer (22 episodes, 1989–1990)
Supervising producer (16 episodes, 1990–1991)
1991 A Little Piece of Heaven Yes TV movie
1992 Woman with a Past Yes TV movie
1990 Marked for Murder Yes TV movie
There Was a Little Boy Yes TV movie
Rio Shannon Yes TV movie
House of Secrets Yes TV movie
1994 Baby Brokers Yes TV movie
The Innocent Yes TV movie
2001 The Beast Yes Yes Executive producer
2002–2003 John Doe Yes Yes Executive producer
2005 Jonny Zero Yes Yes Executive producer
2006 The West Wing Yes
Related Yes
Vanished Yes Yes Executive producer
1994–2009 ER Yes Yes Director (11 episodes, 1994–2009)
Supervising producer (14 episodes, 1994–1995)
Co-executive producer (11 episodes, 1995)
2009 U.S. Attorney Yes Yes TV movie, Executive producer
2010 The Quinn-tuplets Yes TV movie
Human Target Yes
2011 Heavenly Yes TV movie
2011–2012 Shameless Yes
2012 Smash Yes
Luck Yes


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1990 Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series China Beach Nominated
1991 American Film Institute Franklin J. Schaffner Award Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series China Beach Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series China Beach Nominated
1992 Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series China Beach Nominated
1995 Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ER Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series ER Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ER Nominated
1996 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ER Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series ER Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ER Nominated
1997 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ER Nominated
2000 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards Dorothy Arzner Award Won
2006 Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated


References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurd, Mary G. Women Directors and Their Films. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007.
  2. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/78/Mimi-Leder.html
  3. ^ http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/healing_the_world_20001027/
  4. ^ Gregory, Mollie. Women Who Run the Show: How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood. New York: St. Martin's, 2002.
  5. ^ Hurd, Mary G. Women Directors and Their Films. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007.
  6. ^ Tasker, Yvonne. Action and Adventure Cinema. London: Routledge, 2004.
  7. ^ Gregory, Mollie. Women Who Run the Show: How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood. New York: St. Martin's, 2002.
  8. ^ "Mimi Leder: Television Director, Producer." The Paley Center for Media: She Made It. Curator Ron Simon. The Paley Center for Media. Web. May 5, 2012.
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001460/

External links[edit]