Tom Hooper Biography

Tom Hooper photo

TOM HOOPER

Date of Birth: 1972

British director Tom Hooper made his first film at the age of 13—Runaway Dog—on a clockwork 16mm Bolex camera using 100 foot of film. At Oxford University he directed theater productions with contemporaries Kate Beckinsale and Emily Mortimer, and directed his first TV commercials. He wrote, directed and produced the short film Painted Faces aged 18, which premiered at the London Film Festival and was aired on Britain's Channel 4.

In the 1990s, Hooper worked on a number of British TV series, including Eastenders (for two years running he directed the one hour specials that won Eastenders the BAFTA for best soap), Cold Feet and Byker Grove. His 2002 Masterpiece Theatre mini-series, Daniel Deronda starring Hugh Dancy, won several awards including two BAFTAs and the Best Miniseries award at the 2003 Banff TV Festival. Hooper has had an unprecedented run of success at the Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe for best movie or mini-series made for television three years in a row (2007/8/9). His starring actors and actresses have won Golden Globes for their performances four years running.

Hooper received his first Emmy award nomination in 2004 for directing the TV movie Prime Suspect 6: the Last Witness. He won the Emmy award two years later for directing Elizabeth I starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. The HBO/Channel 4 miniseries also won three Golden Globes and nine Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries and Best Actress for Helen Mirrren. Hooper received his third Emmy Award nomination for the critically-acclaimed mini-series John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney. Though he didn't win, the series won four Golden Globes and 13 Emmys—the most Emmys ever awarded to a program in one year in US television history (it received 23 Emmy nominations in total). Hooper directed all nine hours of the mini-series, executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman for HBO.

Though it went straight to DVD, his film Red Dust starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for a BAFTA. His feature film directorial debut, The Damned United starring Michael Sheen as legendary English football manager Brian Clough, was nominated by the South Bank Show Awards for best British film and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

His second major motion picture, The King's Speech, won five British Independent Film Awards, a Golden Globe for lead actor Colin Firth, and received 14 Oscar nominations—more than any other 2010 film. Hooper won the Academy Award for Best Director, while Colin Firth won for Best Actor. The film also received Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars.

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