Roland Joffé Biography

Roland Joffé photo

Born: November 17, 1945


Date of Birth: November 17, 1945

Born in London, England, Joffé was educated at Lycee Francaise and Carmel College. While studying English and drama at Manchester University, he became interested in theatre and began working with Frank Dunlop after graduation.

The two would become founding members of the Young Vic Theatre.

He joined Britain's National Theatre and then founded the company's first touring group under Lawrence Olivier.

Joffé turned to television as a training director and eventually moved from the local news program to episodes of Coronation Street, On the Line and a documentary film, ANN. Following his work on the series Bill Board, Joffé worked on telefilms such as The Spongers, No Mama, No and United Kingdom.

He made a remarkable feature debut with The Killing Fields (1984), a harrowingly realistic account of reporter Sidney Schanberg's time in Cambodia, which won three Academy Awards and earned Joffé a Best Director nomination.

The 1986 release of The Mission, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, garnered more Academy and BAFTA Award nominations.

In 1989 Joffé moved on to Fat Man and Little Boy. The film (which he also wrote), about the creation of the atomic bomb, gave him a Golden Berlin Bear nomination from the Berlin International Film Festival.

His next three films hit a dry spell with low box office numbers and left viewers unimpressed.

He began the new millennium with Vatel, starring Gérard Depardieu and Uma Thurman. A period piece about a steward who falls in love with the king's concubine, it finally broke Joffé's ten-year losing streak by winning the Silver Frog at Camerimage.

Besides directing, Joffé has also produced a number of films including City of Joy, Super Mario Bros., The Scarlet Letter and Vatel.

Joffé is married to British actress Cherie Lunghi.


Goodbye Lover(1999)
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
City of Joy (1992)
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
The Mission (1986)
The Killing Fields (1984)

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