LEE DANIELS (Director) is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning drama
Precious. Adapted from the bestselling novel Push by Sapphire (a.k.a. Ramona
Lofton), Precious was nominated for six Oscars including Best Director and Best
Picture. It notched wins in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted
Daniels' next project is The Butler, which he directed from a script co-written
with Emmy-nominated writer Danny Strong. The film is inspired by the life of
former White House butler Eugene Allen (played by Forest Whitaker), who served
eight U.S. presidents during his tenure. The all-star cast includes Oprah
Winfrey, Robin Williams, Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Melissa
Leo, Terrence Howard and Lenny Kravitz.
Daniels' production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film
debut with Monster's Ball (2001), starring Halle Berry in an Oscar-winning
performance (Best Actress). Daniels also produced The Woodsman (2004), which was
nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. The film received the CICAE
Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Deauville
International Film Festival and the National Board of Review's Special Mention
for Excellence in Filmmaking.
Shadowboxer (2005), starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr., marked Daniels'
directorial debut. Following the film's world premiere at the Toronto
International Film Festival, Daniels was nominated for the New Directors Award
at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.
Next for Daniels was Precious (2009), which was only the third film to win both
the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the
Sundance Film Festival. Daniels became the first African American to be
nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial
Achievement in Motion Pictures. The film also garnered five 2010 Independent
Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director.
What's more, Precious received three Golden Globe nominations, including one for
Best Motion Picture: Drama. The film won six NAACP Image Awards including
Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
(Theatrical or Television).
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