Born: April 29, 1957
Birth Name: Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis
Date of Birth: April 29, 1957
English-born Daniel Day-Lewis was raised in London by an actress mother and a father who was Poet Laureate of England. Educated at Sevenoaks School in Kent, which he despised, Day-Lewis went on to study at the more progressive Bedales in Petersfield, which he adored. At 13, he landed an uncredited role in the film Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971) as a child vandal.
Hooked by his first taste of acting, he went on to study the art at the Bristol Old Vic, which he joined as an ensemble member and appeared in works by Shakespeare, Farquer and Marlowe. There he learned to immerse himself into his characters, which sometimes led to affecting physical changes to make his performances more truthful. "I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it's no problem for me to believe I'm somebody else."
He enjoyed early success on the London stage, displaying strong performances at both the Bristol Old Vic and with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He did not appear on screen again until 1982 when he landed his first adult role in Gandhi. Alternating between theater and film, he toured as Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet and then played a sailor who remains loyal to Anthony Hopkins's Captain Bligh in The Bounty (1984). Day-Lewis startled moviegoers as a homosexual tough boy in My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985, quickly followed by playing an upper-class twit in A Room With A View, displaying the enormous range in characters he could perform.
In 1989, Day-Lewis gave a stunning performance as quadruplegic Irish artist Christy Brown in the feature My Left Foot (1989), which garnered him an Oscar for Best Actor. He returned to theater to perform in Hamlet, only to return to the screen as a surprisingly muscular tomahawk-and-flintlock wielding Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans (1992). Before the mid-'90s, he gave two more outstanding performances in the films The Age of Innocence (1993) and In the Name of the Father (1993), the latter which earned him a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and although he didn't win, he received his second Academy Award just a few years later for his work in There Will Be Blood (2007).
Over the years, Day-Lewis' career continued to land prominent roles like playing Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in the crime drama Gangs of New York (2002), Guido Contini in the musical romance Nine (2009) and America's great president in the biographical drama Lincoln (2012). This latter role earned him his third Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Following an affair with French actress Isabelle Adjani which lasted five years and produced a son, Day-Lewis married actress/daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, Rebecca Miller. The two share a son who was born in 1998.
* 1989 Actor in a Leading Role Oscar winner for My Left Foot.