Often labeled a "social realist" but averse to pigeonholing himself as such, Ken Loach is renowned for his reverent depictions of the politics of everyday life. Studiously avoiding Hollywood's siren call, the British director has etched out a reputation for himself in his native country, as one of the film industry's more respected and idealistic figures.
Born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on June 17, 1936, Loach attended Oxford, where he planned on studying law. Instead, he gravitated toward acting with the university's Experimental Theatre Club and following a stint with the RAF, began his career acting in regional repertory theatre. Loach became a director for the BBC in 1961, where an alliance with producer Tony Garnett led to a series of docudramas. One of these, the 1965 Cathy Come Home, was a searing exposé of the problem of urban homelessness and the welfare state in Britain. One of the most controversial films ever produced by the BBC, it led directly to changes in the country's homeless laws.