Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, CBE (born 1 August 1965) is an English stage and film director. He is best known for directing the comedy-drama film American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the crime film Road to Perdition (2002), and the James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). He also is known for dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret (1994), Oliver! (1994), Company (1996), and Gypsy (2003). He directed an original stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013).
In 2000, Mendes was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to drama" and in the same year was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg, Germany. In 2005, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain.
Mendes was born in Reading, Berkshire, the only child of Valerie Helene (née Barnett), an author of children's books, and Jameson Peter Mendes, a university professor. His father, who is from Trinidad, is of Portuguese and Italian descent, and his mother is an English Jew. His grandfather was the Trinidadian writer Alfred Hubert Mendes...
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