Stephen Daldry

Stephen Daldry

Daldry in November 2013
Born Stephen David Daldry
(1960-05-02) 2 May 1960
Dorset, England, UK
Education University of Sheffield
University of Essex
Occupation Director, producer
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Lucy Sexton (m. 2001)
Children 1
Awards See Awards and Nominations

Stephen David Daldry, CBE (born 2 May 1960)[1] is an English director and producer of both film and theatre. He has won two Olivier Awards for his work in the West End and a Tony Award for his work on Broadway. He has directed several feature films that have been nominated for Best Director and/or Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These films are Billy Elliot (2000), The Hours (2002), The Reader (2008) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011).

Early years

Daldry was born in Dorset, England, the son of bank manager Patrick Daldry and singer Cherry (née Thompson).[2] The family moved to Taunton, Somerset, where his father died of cancer when Daldry was aged 14.[3]

After this, Daldry joined a youth theatre group in Taunton,[4] and also performed as Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever for local amateur society Taunton Thespians and then aged 18 won a Royal Air Force scholarship to University of Sheffield to study English, where he became chairman of the Sheffield University Theatre Group.

After graduation, he spent a year travelling through Italy, where he became a clown's apprentice. Returning to Sheffield, he became an apprentice at the Crucible Theatre from 1985–1988. He then trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School, London.


Daldry began his career at the Sheffield Crucible with Artistic Director Clare Venables where he directed many productions. He also headed many productions at the Manchester Library Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Stratford East, Oxford Stage, Brighton and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was also 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. He won awards on Broadway as well as the West End.

Daldry made his feature film directorial debut in 2000 with Billy Elliot. 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, 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 an Academy Award nomination for directing three of his five films.

Daldry was planning to direct a film adaptation of Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay in 2005.[5] In the ensuing three years, the project was cancelled and reinitiated several times, and in late 2006 was partially cast with Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire. According to Chabon, production then stalled due to "studio-politics kinds of reasons that I'm not privy to," and as of April 2007 remains inactive.[6]

Daldry's fourth film was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Jonathan Safran Foer, starring newcomer Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Max von Sydow. 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.

Personal life

Although Daldry has been married since 2001 to American performance artist and magazine editor Lucy Sexton, with whom he has a daughter, Annabel Clare (born 2003),[7][8] he describes himself simply as a gay man because people prefer it ("they don't like the confusion").[9]

He was previously in a relationship with set designer Ian MacNeil for 13 years.[10] They met at an outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland in Lancaster in 1988, and after settling in Camberwell, began collaborating on theatrical productions.[11][12]


West End

Royal Court Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Gate Theatre
  • Damned for Despair
  • The Fleisser Plays - Pioneers in Ingolstadt & Purgatory in Ingolstadt
  • Figaro Gets Divorced
  • Jerker
Gielgud Theatre
Apollo Theatre
Victoria Palace Theatre
Wyndham's Theatre




Detailed theatreography (up to 2003)

Awards and nominations



  1. Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at
  2. "Stephen Daldry Biography (1960–)". Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  3. ((cite web|url=
  4. Kellaway, Kate (8 December 2002). "Stephen Daldry: He'll turn his hand to anything". The Guardian. London.
  5. Nancy Hass (7 November 2004). "Scott Rudin's Three Ring Holiday Circus". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  6. Timothy Hodler (2007). "Michael Chabon Q & A". Details. Archived from the original on 22 May 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  7. Giltz, Michael (18 March 2003). "The golden Hours". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  8. "Stephen Daldry". Matt & Andrej Koymasky - The Living Room - Biographies. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  9. Wood, Gaby (14 June 2009). "How Britain became the toast of Broadway". The Observer. London.
  10. The Broadway League. "Stephen Daldry". IBDB. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  11. The Independent interview, April 21, 1996
  12. Ian MacNeil at the Internet Broadway Database
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