A director known primarily for his classy, richly textured screen adaptations of famous novels, Anthony Minghella gained international recognition with his 1996 adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, the film ultimately won nine including Best Film and Best Director statuettes for Minghella.
Born to Italian parents on the Isle of Wight on January 6, 1954, Minghella grew up next door to the neighborhood cinema. An early film devotee, he managed to score free film admission by befriending the cinema's projectionist. Despite his lifelong interest in the cinema, Minghella took a long and circuitous path to filmmaking. After earning a degree from the University of Hull, where he lectured on literature, he began writing plays. In 1984, three years after he started his playwriting career, he was named Most Promising Playwright of the Year by the London Theatre Critics. Further adulation followed in 1986 when Minghella's Made in Bangkok was named the year's best play.