Born: 24 December 1959
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The director of Precious
Lee Daniels is a film producer and director whose movie Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire earned Oscar nominations for best picture and for best direction in 2010. Raised in Philadelphia, Daniels left college after two years to pursue a career in Los Angeles as a screenwriter. Instead he went into the health care business, followed by 20 years in casting and managing movie actors. His first film as a producer was the critically acclaimed 2001 film Monster's Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry; the film's screenplay earned an Oscar nomination, and Berry's performance brought her an Oscar for best leading actress. Daniels then produced The Woodsman (2004, starring Kevin Bacon), and produced and directed Shadowboxer (2005, starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding, Jr.). Including Precious, Daniels is known for dark dramas, as well as for unusual casting choices, including P. Diddy (Monster's Ball), Mos Def (Monster's Ball and The Woodsman), Mo'Nique (Shadowboxer and Precious) and Mariah Carey (Precious and the Daniels-produced 2008 movie Tennessee).
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