- Day-Lewis, Daniel
▪ British actorin full Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewisborn April 29, 1957, London, Eng.British actor known for his on- and offscreen intensity and exhaustive preparation for roles.Day-Lewis was the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (Day-Lewis, C.), one of the leading British poets of the 1930s, and actress Jill Balcon and the grandson of motion-picture producer Sir Michael Balcon (Balcon, Sir Michael). He began acting at Bedales, a liberal school in Petersfield, Eng., and at age 13 he landed a small role in the film Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971). He then went on to perform with the Bristol Old Vic and Royal Shakespeare theatrical companies before appearing in his first adult roles in the films Gandhi (1982) and The Bounty (1984). In 1985 Day-Lewis displayed his versatility by playing a homosexual hooligan in My Beautiful Laundrette and a staid Edwardian-era Englishman in A Room with a View; the films brought him international acclaim, as did his performance as an adulterous surgeon in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). His portrayal of Christy Brown, an artist almost completely disabled by cerebral palsy, in the film My Left Foot (1989) won him numerous awards, including an Academy Award for best actor. In the course of making the film, Day-Lewis spent the entire time in a wheelchair and learned to paint with his left foot.Day-Lewis subsequently starred in a number of successful films, including The Last of the Mohicans (1992); The Age of Innocence (1993), Martin Scorsese (Scorsese, Martin)'s film adaptation of Edith Wharton (Wharton, Edith)'s novel; In the Name of the Father (1993), which earned him an Academy Award nomination; and The Crucible (1996), based on Arthur Miller (Miller, Arthur)'s play. After appearing in The Boxer (1997), Day-Lewis took a break from acting and worked for a time as a cobbler's apprentice in Italy. In 2002 he returned to filmmaking, appearing as a murderous anti-immigrant gang leader in Scorsese's Gangs of New York, a drama set in the mid-19th century. In 2008 Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for his role as self-made oil tycoon Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007).
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