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Lee Daniels (b. Lee Louis Daniels, December 24, 1959, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American film producer and director best known for his Academy Award-nominated film Monster`s Ball. Daniels was born in Philadelphia and attended Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. He began his career in entertainment as a casting director and manager after a chance meeting with a Hollywood producer, working on projects such as Under the Cherry Moon and Purple Rain. He continued managing talent that included several Academy Award nominees and winners. Monster`s Ball, the first production of Lee Daniels Entertainment, marked Daniels as the first African-American sole producer of an Academy Award-earning film. It became a substantially critical and box office success. Monster`s Ball was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2002: Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress, for which Halle Berry won an Oscar. Daniels` next producing effort was The Woodsman starring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Mos Def. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Nominated for three 2005 Independent Spirit Awards, the film received the CICAE Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival; Jury Prize, Deauville International Film Festival and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review. Daniels made his directorial debut in 2006 with Shadowboxer, which starred Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Ferlito, Mo`Nique, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Macy Gray. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received a nomination for the New Directors Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Daniels produced the 2008 film Tennessee, which was written by Russell Schaumberg and directed by Aaron Woodley (Rhinoceros Eyes). The film is about two brothers, played by Adam Rothenberg and Ethan Peck, who travel from New Mexico to Tennessee to search for their estranged father. Along the way they meet Krystal (Mariah Carey), an aspiring singer who flees her controlling husband (Lance Reddick) to join them on their journey. Daniels directed the film Push (film based on the novel by Sapphire), screening at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Outside of his work in film, Daniels briefly delved into politics and community development. Upon the request of Harlem neighbor and former president Bill Clinton, Daniels produced public service announcements to inspire young people of color to vote. The effective campaign was launched in March 2004 and featured actor/musician LL Cool J and Grammy winner Alicia Keys. Daniels, who is based in New York City, is the father of two children, Clara Infinity and Liam Samad. He identifies as gay.
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Lee Louis Daniels
Producer, Director, Actor/Actress
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Lee Louis Daniels (born December 24, 1959) is an American actor and filmmaker. He produced Monster's Ball and directed Precious, which received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Director; the film won two of the awards. In 2013, Daniels directed The Butler, a historical fiction drama featuring an ensemble cast portraying unique events on the 20th century presidents of the United States at the White House. Daniels is also the co - creator, director, writer, and producer of the critically acclaimed television series Empire that debuted in 2015.
Actor, director, producer
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