Mendes in Paris at the French premiere of Skyfall, October 24, 2012
|Born||Samuel Alexander Mendes
1 August 1965
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Alma mater||Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
Magdalen College School
|Influenced by||Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson|
|Spouse(s)||Kate Winslet (2003–2010; divorced)|
|Children||Joe Winslet Mendes|
Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, CBE (born 1 August 1965) is an English stage and film director. He is best known for directing American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy and Golden Globe Award for Best Director; the crime film Road to Perdition (2002); the James Bond movie Skyfall (2012), and his dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret (1994), Oliver! (1994) and Company (1996), as well as Gypsy (2003). He will direct an original stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013).
In 2000, Mendes was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to drama", and in 2005 received a lifetime achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain.
Early years 
Mendes was born in Reading, Berkshire, the only child of Valerie Helene (née Barnett), an author of children's books, and Jameson Peter Mendes, a university professor. Sam's father, who is from Trinidad, is of Portuguese and Italian descent, and Sam's mother is an English Jew. His grandfather is the Trinidadian writer Alfred Hubert Mendes.
Mendes' parents divorced when he was a child. He grew up in Oxfordshire and attended Magdalen College School and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he graduated with a first in English. While at Cambridge, he was a member of the Marlowe Society and directed several plays, including a production of Cyrano de Bergerac with Tom Hollander among the cast members. He was also a "brilliant" schoolboy cricketer, according to Wisden and played for Magdalen College School in 1983 and 1984. He also played cricket for Cambridge University.
Aged 24, Mendes directed a production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in the West End that starred Judi Dench. Soon he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where his productions, many of them featuring Simon Russell Beale, included Troilus and Cressida, Richard III and The Tempest.
He has also worked at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1988 as assistant director on a number of productions, including Major Barbara, and directing in "The Tent", the second venue. He later directed at the Royal National Theatre, helming Edward Bond's The Sea, Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, and Othello with Simon Russell Beale as Iago.
In 1990 Mendes was appointed artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, a studio space in London's Covent Garden which he helped transform into one of the city's more notable theatre venues. He spent his first two years overseeing the redesign of the theatre, and his opening production was Stephen Sondheim's Assassins in 1992. Several successful productions followed.
In 1993, Mendes staged an acclaimed revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb's Cabaret starring Jane Horrocks as Sally Bowles, Alan Cumming as Emcee, Adam Godley as Cliff Bradshaw and Sara Kestelman as Frau Schneider. The production was approached with a fresh concept, differing greatly from both the original 1966 production directed by Harold Prince and the famed film version, directed by Bob Fosse. This production opened at the Donmar and received four Olivier Award nominations including Best Musical Revival, before transferring promptly to Broadway where it played for several years at the Kit Kat Club (i.e. the Stephen Sondheim Theater). The Broadway cast included Cumming once again as Emcee, with Natasha Richardson as Sally, Mary Louise Wilson as Frau Schneider and John Benjamin Hickey as Cliff. Cumming and Richardson won Tony Awards for their performances.
1994 saw Mendes stage a new production of Lionel Bart's Oliver!, produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Mendes, a longtime fan of the work, worked in close collaboration with Bart and other production team members, William David Brohn, Martin Koch and Anthony Ward, to create a fresh staging of the well-known classic. Bart added new musical material and Mendes updated the book slightly, while the orchestrations were radically rewritten to suit the show's cinematic feel. The cast included Jonathan Pryce (after much persuasion) as Fagin, Sally Dexter as Nancy, and Miles Anderson as Bill Sikes. Mendes, Pryce and Dexter received Olivier Award nominations for their work on Oliver!.
He has also directed productions of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, Stephen Sondheim's Company (which had the first ever African American "Bobby"), Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus and his farewell duo of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, which transferred to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In 2003, Mendes directed a revival of the musical Gypsy. Originally, he planned to stage this production in London's West End with an eventual Broadway transfer, but when negotiations fell through, he brought it to New York. The cast included Bernadette Peters as Rose, Tammy Blanchard as Louise and John Dossett as Herbie. Mendes is scheduled to direct a new stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, set to open at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June 2013.
In 1999, Mendes made his movie directorial debut with American Beauty, starring Kevin Spacey. The film grossed $356.3 million worldwide. The film won the Golden Globe Award, the BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Picture. Mendes won the Academy Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award, and Directors Guild of America Award.
Mendes's second film, in 2002, was Road to Perdition, which grossed US$181 million. The aggregate review score on Rotten Tomatoes was 82%; critics praised Paul Newman for his performance. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor, and won one for Best Cinematography.
In 2003, Mendes established Neal Street Productions, a film, television and theatre production company he would use to finance much of his later work.
In 2005, Mendes directed the war film Jarhead in association with his production company Neal Street Productions. The film received mixed reviews, receiving a Rotten Tomatoes aggregate of 61%, and a gross revenue of US$96.9 million worldwide. The film focused on the boredom and other psychological challenges of wartime.
In 2008, Mendes directed Revolutionary Road, starring his then-wife, Kate Winslet, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kathy Bates. In a January 2009 interview, Mendes commented, about directing his wife for the first time, "I would open my eyes in the morning and there Kate would be, going, 'Great! You're awake! Now let's talk about the second scene.'" Mendes' comedy-drama Away We Go opened the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film follows a couple (John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph) searching North America for the perfect community in which to settle down and start a family. The film was well received by critics but performed poorly at the box office.
James Bond 
On 5 January 2010, news broke that Mendes was employed to direct the 23rd Eon Productions installment of the James Bond franchise. The film, Skyfall, was subsequently released on 26 October 2012, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Bond films. Mendes had been employed as a consultant on the film when it was in pre-production, and had remained attached to the project during the financial troubles of MGM.
Following the success of Skyfall, Mendes was asked if he was returning to direct the next Bond film. He responded, "I felt I put everything I possibly could into this film and it was the Bond film I wanted to make. And if I felt I could do the same again, then absolutely I would consider doing another one. But it is a big ask and I wouldn't do it unless I knew I could."
It was reported that one reason Mendes was reluctant to commit was that one proposal involved making two films back-to-back, based on an idea by Skyfall writer John Logan, which would have resulted in Mendes and other creative personnel being tied up with filming for around 4 years. It was reported in February 2013 that this idea had now been shelved, and that the next two films would be stand-alone. The same report claimed that Mendes was "75% on board, but was waiting to see the finished script before committing."
On March 5, 2013, Mendes announced that he would not be directing the 24th Bond film in order to focus efforts on his career in theater. Producers Wilson and Broccoli did, however, express interest in Mendes directing another Bond film at a later date.
Personal life 
Mendes married British actress Kate Winslet in May 2003 on what they characterised as a whim while vacationing in Anguilla. They met in 2001, when Mendes approached Winslet about appearing in a play at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, where he was then artistic director. Their son Joe Alfie was born on 22 December 2003. Mendes also had a stepdaughter, Mia, from Winslet's first marriage, to filmmaker Jim Threapleton. The couple's representative announced on 15 March 2010 that "that they separated earlier this year." Winslet said in 2011 that "the first stage of my divorce with Sam came through" on the same day she was filming a divorce scene for her HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.
Stage productions 
- 1990: Began directing for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- 1992: became artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse theatre
- 1992: directed Assassins at the Donmar
- 1994: directed revival of Oliver! (with score specially revised and augmented by original composer and lyricist Lionel Bart) at the London Palladium; the show ran for four years, becoming on 8 July 1997 the longest-running show at the venue.
- 1994: directed revival of Cabaret
- 1995: directed revival of Company
- 1997: directed The Fix in the West End
- 1997: directed The Front Page starring Griff Rhys Jones and Alun Armstrong.
- 1998: alongside Rob Marshall, directed Broadway revival of Cabaret, closely based on his previous production
- 1998: directed David Hare's The Blue Room, starring Nicole Kidman (and Iain Glen).
- 1999: directed Wise Guys in New York
- 2002: directed Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night.
- 2003: directed a Broadway revival of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters.
- 2003: started film and theatre production company, Neal Street Productions, with Pippa Harris and Caro Newling.
- 2006: directed The Vertical Hour on Broadway, with Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy
- 2009: directed The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard for BAM and the Old Vic, with Simon Russell Beale, Sinéad Cusack, Rebecca Hall and Ethan Hawke.
- 2010: directed As You Like It and The Tempest for BAM and the Old Vic, starring Stephen Dillane, Juliet Rylance, Christian Camargo, and Michelle Beck.
- 2011: directed Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic (June – September 2011)
- 2012: directed Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) (January - March 2012)
- 2013: directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Feature films 
|Year||Film||Credited as||Oscar nominations||Oscar wins||BAFTA nominations||BAFTA wins||Golden Globe nominations||Golden Globe wins|
|2002||Road to Perdition||Yes||Yes||6||1||3||2||1|
|2006||Starter for 10||Yes|
|2007||Things We Lost in the Fire||Yes|
|2009||Away We Go||Yes|
|Henry IV, Part I||Yes|
|Henry IV, Part II||Yes|
Awards and nominations 
|Year||Award||Film or stage play||Result|
|1989||Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer||The Cherry Orchard||Won|
|1995||Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Director||The Glass Menagerie||Won|
|Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director||Won|
|1996||Laurence Olivier Award for Director||Company||Won|
|1998||Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical||Cabaret||Nominated|
|1999||Academy Award for Best Director||American Beauty||Won|
|Golden Globe Award for Best Director||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director||Won|
|2002||Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Director||Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night||Won|
|2003||Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director||Won|
|Society of London Theatre Special Award||N/A||Won|
|2008||Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture||Revolutionary Road||Nominated|
- "Sam Mendes Biography". FilmReference.com. 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- "Sam Mendes gets directing honour". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "Caine heads birthday honours list". BBC Online. 17 June 2000. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Can Kate tame Sam?". dailymail.co.uk. 20 November 2001.
- The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897-1991, p. 112-114
- Wood, Gaby (14 December 2008). "How Sam became The Man". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- Sutcliffe, Thomas (20 January 2000). "Sam Mendes: don't you just hate the guy?". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- Eminent Petreans
- "About The Marlowe". Cambridge University Marlowe Society. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "Never a famous cricketer". ESPNCricinfo. 2001 year. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Profile: Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes". BBC News. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Profile: Sam Mendes, director of Skyfall - the 23rd James Bond film". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2013
- "The Donmar's successes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- Olivier Award 1995. The Society of London Theatre, 2011
- "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to open in West End". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2012
- "American Beauty (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22-11-2009.
- Kaya Burgess, 'Bond director drops 007 for something sweeter', The Times, March 7, 2013, No. 70826, p. 3
- Diane Solway (January 2009). "Scenes from a Marriage". W. Retrieved 19 February 2009
- "They Also Played Cricket". Yahoo!. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Out of the Ashes reveals the amazing story of Afghanistan cricket". The Guardian. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Call the Midwife: series two, episode one, BBC One, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2013
- Allen, Nick (6 January 2010). "British director Sam Mendes in talks over next James Bond film". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- "Skyfall: 'most successful' James Bond film tops $1bn at global box office", The Daily Telegraph, Retrieved 24 January 2013
- "Box Office Milestone: Daniel Craig's 'Skyfall' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 January 2013
- O'Neal, Sean (6 March 2013). "Sam Mendes turns down the next James Bond film for a life in the theater". Newswire. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Brooks, Xan (15 March 2010). "Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes separate after seven years of marriage". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- Ben Todd. 'It's fine... we're grown-ups at the end of the day': Kate Winslet opens up on her divorce from Sam Mendes in new photoshoot. Mail Online. 4 October 2011
- Harper's Bazaar (UK), November 2011
- Gould, Lara (28 November 2011). "Kate Winslet's ex-husband Sam Mendes admits: I am dating Rebecca Hall". Daily Mail (London).
- A Negative Assessment of Mendes' Work By Prof. Ray Carney
- Sam Mendes at the Internet Movie Database
- Sam Mendes at the Internet Broadway Database
- The Observer Interview 14 December 2008
- Brandon Kosters interview 2 June 2009
- Charlie Rose interview 5 June 2009
|Official James Bond Film Director