Stephen Daldry

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Stephen Daldry

Stephen Daldry 2013.jpg
Stephen Daldry, November 2013
Stephen David Daldry

(1960-05-02) 2 May 1960 (age 60)
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield
East 15 Acting School
OccupationDirector, producer
Years active1985–present
Lucy Sexton
(m. 2001)
AwardsSee Awards and Nominations

Stephen David Daldry, CBE (born 2 May 1960) is an English director and producer of the film, theatre, and television. He has won three Olivier Awards for his work in the West End and two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway. He has received three Academy Awards nominations for Best Director, for films Billy Elliot (2000), The Hours (2002), and The Reader (2008). From 2016 to 2019, he produced and directed the Netflix television series The Crown, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Drama Series. Daldry joined an elite group of directors by receiving nominations for direction in theatre, television, and film.

Early years[edit]

Daldry was born in Dorset, the son of singer Cherry (née Thompson) and bank manager Patrick Daldry.[1] The family moved to Taunton, Somerset, where his father died of cancer when Daldry was aged 14.[2]

Daldry joined a youth theatre group in Taunton.[3] and performed as Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever for the local amateur society, Taunton Thespians. At age 18, he won a Royal Air Force scholarship to read English at the University of Sheffield, where he became chairman of the Sheffield University Theatre Group.[citation needed]

After graduation, he spent a year traveling through Italy, where he became a clown's apprentice. He then trained as an actor on the postgraduate course at East 15 Acting School from 1982 to 1983.


Daldry began his career as an apprentice at the Sheffield Crucible from 1985 to 1988, working under artistic director Clare Venables. He also headed productions at the Manchester Library Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Stratford East, Oxford Stage, Brighton and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1992–98, where he headed the £26 million development scheme. He was also Artistic Director of London's Gate Theatre (1989–92) and the Metro Theatre Company (1984–86). He is currently on the Board of the Young and Old Vic Theatres and remains an Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre. He was the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre for 2002 at St Catherine's College, Oxford.[citation needed]

Daldry made his feature film directorial debut with Billy Elliot (2000). His next film was The Hours, and it won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Nicole Kidman. Recently, he directed a stage musical adaptation of Billy Elliot, and in 2009 his work on it earned him a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical. He has also made a film version of The Reader (2008), based on the book of the same name and starring Kate Winslet, David Kross and Ralph Fiennes. The film won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Kate Winslet. He has received Academy Award nominations for directing three of his five films.[citation needed] Daldry's fourth film was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Jonathan Safran Foer, starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow and introduced newcomer Thomas Horn. The screenplay was written by Eric Roth. The film received a nomination for Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards and a nomination for von Sydow for Best Supporting Actor.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Daldry was in a relationship with set designer Ian MacNeil for 13 years.[5] They met at an outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland in Lancaster in 1988, and after settling in Camberwell, began collaborating on theatrical productions.[6][7]

Greatly impacted by the 9/11 tragedy in the United States, Stephen decided he wanted to start a family and married American performance artist and magazine editor Lucy Sexton, with whom he has a daughter.[8][9] Despite this, he continues to refer to himself as gay because the public “don’t like confusion.”[10]