Sam Mendes Biography
Sam Mendes nicknamed for amuel Alexander Mendes is an English stage and film director for his major profession. To date he has been 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), and the James Bond film Skyfall (2012). He also is known for dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret (1994), Oliver! (1994), Company (1996), and Gypsy (2003). Apart from these he has also directed an original stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013).
He has been counted as one of the award winning actors and directors of present time, till the date he has won a lifetime achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain. Mendes was born on August 1, 1965 in Readig, Berkshire, England as an only child of Valerie Helene an author of children’s book and Jameson Peter Mendes, a university professor. His father, who is from Trinidad, is of Portuguese and Italian descent, and his mother is an English Jew. His grandfather was 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.
Mendes directed a production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in the West End that starred Judi Dench when he was only 24 years old. 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.
In 1999, Mendes made his film directorial debut with American Beauty, starring Kevin Spacey. Mendes's second film, in 2002, was Road to Perdition. In 2005, Mendes directed the war film Jarhead, in association with his production company Neal Street Productions. In 2008, Mendes directed Revolutionary Road, starring his then-wife, Kate Winslet, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kathy Bates. In 2010, he co-produced a critically acclaimed documentary film Out of the Ashes that deals with cricket in Afghanistan. In 2012 Neal Street Productions produced the first series of the BBC One drama series, Call the Midwife, following it with a second season which began transmission in early 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 the same year was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg, Germany. On 11 July 2013 it was announced that Mendes will direct the 24th James Bond film, due for release in 2015.
Talking about his personal life, he has been married to British actress Kate Winslet in May 2003. Before getting married he had dated Jane Horrocks, Rachel Weisz and Calista Flockhart. Mendes has met Winslet in 2001 when he had approached Winslet about appearing in a play at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre. At present he has a son and a step daughter Mia.