Anthony Minghella

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Anthony Minghella , CBE (born January 6, 1954 on the Isle of Wight , † March 18, 2008 in London ) was a British film director , film producer , screenwriter , playwright , radio play writer , theater and opera director .


Minghella was the son of Italian-Scottish parents who ran an ice cream factory on the Isle of Wight. After graduating from school, he studied at the University of Hull , where he worked as a lecturer for a while . In 1978 he made his first short film. Since 1981 he has worked as a writer and story editor . He became known for plays, radio plays, the television series Inspector Morse and many scripts for film and television. He developed the scripts for the 1988 television series The Storyteller by Muppets inventor Jim Henson .

He was also successful as a producer , including for the films The Silent American , The Interpreter and The Reader , for which he was posthumously nominated for an Oscar in 2008 (category “Best Film”). Together with his friend and colleague Sydney Pollack , he founded the production company Mirage Enterprises. The director Minghella was considered to be a good actor guide: Under his direction numerous actors made it to Oscar nominations, two actresses received the award for "Best Supporting Actress": Juliette Binoche ( The English Patient ) and Renée Zellweger ( On the way to Cold Mountain ).

Towards the end of his life, Minghella returned to his beginnings on the radio and on stage: in 2006 his radio play Eyes Down Looking with Jude Law was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in honor of Samuel Beckett , a year earlier his production of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly premiered at the English National Opera in London and has also been shown at the National Opera of Vilnius and the Metropolitan Opera in New York . At the end of the 2007 film Atonement from Joe Wright , he made a brief appearance as a talk show host alongside Vanessa Redgrave . His last work as a screenwriter was the script for the musical film Nine (together with Michael Tolkin). His last directorial work of the pilot ranks to detective series Detective Agency (Original title: English The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency ) that the BBC aired five days after his death for the first time.

Minghella was married to Hong Kong- born choreographer, producer, and actress Carolyn Choa ( How Crazy and From the Bottom of the Heart ). The marriage has two children who work in the film industry: daughter Hannah Minghella in the production and son Max Minghella as an actor ( Agora - Die Säulen des Himmels ). The aunt Edana Minghella and the uncle Dominic Minghella (among others for the German television series Doktor Martin ) are screenwriters.

Minghella died in a London hospital at the age of 54 of internal bleeding from an operation for tonsil carcinoma and a carcinoma of the neck.


In 1984 Minghella received the London Critics 'Prize as the most promising young playwright, and in 1986 the Critics' Prize for his play Made in Bangkok as the best play of the season. In 1997 he received for The English Patient to Oscar in the category Best Director , 1999 an Oscar nomination in the category "Best Adapted Screenplay" for The Talented Mr. Ripley , for which he also directed.

In 2001 Minghella was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE). From 2003 to 2007 he was President of the British Film Institute . The Anthony Minghella Theater on the Isle of Wight has been named after him since 1997 .

Filmography as a director (selection)

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