Biography

Michael "Mike" Leigh, OBE (born 20 February 1943) is a British writer and director of film and theatre. He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and studied further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterized by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include Life is Sweet (1990), the comedy-drama Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are arguably Naked (1993) for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the BAFTA-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) and Golden Lion winner Vera Drake (2004).

His films and stage plays, according to the critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period."  Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked – and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years – including Sheila Kelley, Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Eric Richard, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent."  Ian Buruma, writing in the New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo."

Description above from the Wikipedia article Mike Leigh, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Read More

Michael "Mike" Leigh, OBE (born 20 February 1943) is a British writer and director of film and theatre. He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and studied further at the Camberwell School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterized by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include Life is Sweet (1990), the comedy-drama Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are arguably Naked (1993) for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the BAFTA-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) and Golden Lion winner Vera Drake (2004).

His films and stage plays, according to the critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period."  Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked – and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years – including Sheila Kelley, Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Eric Richard, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent."  Ian Buruma, writing in the New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo."

Description above from the Wikipedia article Mike Leigh, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Directing

Gender Male

Known Credits 45

Birthday 1943-02-20

Place of Birth Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Directing TV ShowsMovies

2018 PeterlooDirector
2015 ENO Screen: The Pirates of PenzanceDirector
2014 Mr. TurnerDirector
2012 A Running JumpDirector
2010 Another YearDirector
2008 Happy-Go-LuckyDirector
2004 Vera DrakeDirector
2002 All or NothingDirector
1999 Topsy-TurvyDirector
1997 Career GirlsDirector
1996 Secrets & LiesDirector
1993 NakedDirector
1993 Two Mikes Don't Make a WrightDirector
1992 A Sense of HistoryDirector
1990 Life Is SweetDirector
1988 High HopesDirector
1987 The Short & CurliesDirector
1985 Four Days in JulyDirector
1984 MeantimeDirector
1982 Five-Minute Films: AfternoonDirector
1982 Five-Minute Films: A Light SnackDirector
1982 Five-Minute Films: ProbationDirector
1982 Five-Minute Films: Old ChumsDirector
1982 Five-Minute Films: The Birth of the Goalie of the 2001 F.A. Cup FinalDirector
1982 Home Sweet HomeDirector
1980 Grown-UpsDirector
1979 Who's WhoDirector
1977 Abigail's PartyDirector
1977 The Kiss of DeathDirector
1976 Nuts in MayDirector
1975 The Permissive SocietyDirector
1973 Hard LabourDirector
1971 Bleak MomentsDirector
1970 Play for Today(6 episodes)Director

Writing

2018 PeterlooWriter
2014 Mr. TurnerWriter
2010 Another YearWriter
2008 Happy-Go-LuckyScreenplay
2004 Vera DrakeWriter
2002 All or NothingWriter
1999 Topsy-TurvyWriter
1997 Career GirlsWriter
1996 Secrets & LiesWriter
1993 NakedWriter
1990 Life Is SweetWriter
1988 High HopesWriter
1987 The Short & CurliesWriter
1984 MeantimeWriter
1982 Five-Minute Films: AfternoonWriter
1982 Five-Minute Films: A Light SnackWriter
1982 Five-Minute Films: ProbationWriter
1982 Five-Minute Films: Old ChumsWriter
1982 Five-Minute Films: The Birth of the Goalie of the 2001 F.A. Cup FinalWriter
1977 Abigail's PartyWriter
1977 The Kiss of DeathWriter
1976 Nuts in MayWriter
1973 Hard LabourWriter
1971 Bleak MomentsWriter
1970 Play for Today(6 episodes)Writer

Acting

2014 The One and Only Mike Leigh as Himself
2009 Vittorio D
2009 Looking for Truffaut as Himself
2007 The Alan Titchmarsh Show(1 episode)
2006 The One Show(2 episodes)
2004 The Culture Show(1 episode)
2000 Humphrey Jennings: The Man Who Listened to Britain as himself
1998 Welcome to Hollywood as Mike Leigh
1982 Mike Leigh: Making Plays as Himself
1960 Inspector Maigret(1 episode)
1953 The Academy Awards(1 episode)

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.