21 Facts About Hugh Hudson


Hugh Hudson was among a generation of British directors who would begin their career making documentaries and television commercials before going on to have success in films.


Hugh Hudson was born at 27 Welbeck Street, London, the son and only child of Michael Donaldson-Hudson and his second wife Jacynth Mary Ellerton, from Cheswardine in rural northeast Shropshire.


Hugh Hudson was sent to boarding school in 1942 at the age of six, and thereafter was educated at Eton College.


Hugh Hudson began his National Service in the Dragoon Guards from 28 January 1956, reaching the rank of second lieutenant and remained as a lieutenant in the Army Reserve of Officers until he was discharged on 16 January 1960.


Hugh Hudson produced, among others, the documentaries A for Apple, which won a Screenwriters' Guild Award, and The Tortoise and the Hare, which was nominated for a BAFTA Award.


Hugh Hudson emerged with much success in the 1960s, winning many awards and pioneering a new graphic style for documentary and advertising films.


Hugh Hudson then began a career in advertising, producing and directing many television commercials.


Hugh Hudson worked alongside Alan Parker, Ridley and Tony Scott for Ridley Scott Associates, a British film and commercial production company founded in 1968.


From 1979 to 1980, Hugh Hudson directed his first and most successful feature film, Chariots of Fire, the story of two British track runners, one a devout Christian and the other an ambitious Jew, in the run-up to the 1924 Olympic Games.


The film is said to have revitalized the fading British film industry, and it won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture; Hugh Hudson earned a nomination for Best Director.


Hugh Hudson had rejected numerous feature film offers before Chariots of Fire's success.


In 1985, Hugh Hudson directed Revolution, which depicted the American War of Independence, and which was released before it was a fully completed film.


In 2006, Hugh Hudson was reported to be working, together with producer John Heyman, on an historical epic based on the life of the monotheistic Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti.


In 2008, Hugh Hudson re-edited Revolution, giving the film a narration by Al Pacino.


Hugh Hudson co-produced Chariots of Fire, the 2012 stage adaptation of the film of the same title.


In 2016, Hugh Hudson directed the period drama Altamira, about the discovery of the famous Spanish cave paintings.


Hugh Hudson created the Courage Best "Gercha" advert and the Cinzano "Aeroplane" advert.


Hugh Hudson died at Charing Cross Hospital in London on 10 February 2023.


In 2003, Hugh Hudson was given a special Cannes Lions award on the 50th Anniversary of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, an award given only to directors who have won the Grand Prix more than once.


Hugh Hudson won Grand Prix Cannes Lions awards for his 1972 Levi's "Walking Behinds" and 1978 Coty L'Aimant "French Lesson" adverts.


In October 2008, at the Dinard Festival of British Film, Hugh Hudson's work was honoured.