Lee Tamahori (born 17 June 1950) is a New Zealand filmmaker best known for directing the 1994 film Once Were Warriors and the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day.
Born Warren Lee Tamahori, in Wellington, New Zealand, he is of Māori ancestry on his father's side and British on his mother's.
Educated at Massey High School and Tawa College, he began his career as a commercial artist and photographer. He moved to the film industry in the late 1970s, initially getting in the door by working for nothing, then worked as a boom operator for Television New Zealand, and on the 1978 feature Skin Deep, Goodbye Pork Pie, and Bad Blood.
In the early 1980s Geoff Murphy employed him as an assistant director on Utu, and he subsequently worked as first assistant director on films like The Silent One, The Quiet Earth, Came a Hot Friday and Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence. In 1986 Tamahori co-founded a commercial production company Flying Fish and made his name with a series of high-profile television commercials, including one awarded "Commercial of the Decade"...
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