Motion Picture Director, Screenwriter, Playwright. His best known films are lush, romantic period dramas, with mysterious plots that explore questions of identity. Critics have compared him to director David Lean for his deft handling of intimate relationships against epic backdrops. Minghella's biggest hit, "The English Patient" (1996), won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. He also received Best Screenplay Oscar nominations for that film and for "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Minghella was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, to Italian parents. He attended the University of Hull, receiving a BA in drama, and launched his career as a London playwright with "Whale Music" (1981). His culture clash drama "Made in Bangkok" (1986) was voted Best Play by the London Theatre Critics. During the 1980s he worked as a writer and script editor for such British TV series as "Grange Hill" and "Inspector Morse" before making his film directing debut with the cult hit "Truly Madly Deeply" (1990), based on his original screenplay. After a disillusioning experience in Hollywood with the feature "Mr. Wonderful" (1993), Minghella spent two years shepherding "The English Patient", adapted from Michael Ondaatje's novel, to the screen; it catapulted him to international fame. His subsequent features met with more mixed responses, particularly the American Civil War-era tale "Cold Mountain" (2003), which was shelved for a year before its successful release. Among his other credits are "Play" (2000), "Breaking and Entering" (2006), and "Michael Clayton" (executive producer only, 2007). In 2001 Minghella was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and from 2003 until his death he was chairman of the British Film Institute. He was married to choreographer Carolyn Choa.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards