21 Facts About Lee Daniels


Lee Daniels was born on December 24,1959 and is an American film and television producer, director and screenwriter.


Lee Daniels made his directorial debut with Shadowboxer in 2005 and has since then directed the films Precious, The Paperboy, The Butler and The United States vs Billie Holiday.


Lee Daniels has co-created and co-executive produced the TV series Empire and Star, both set in the music industry.


Lee Daniels was born on December 24,1959, in West Philly, the eldest son of Clara May and William Louis Lee Daniels.


Lee Daniels's younger sister, Leah Daniels-Butler, is a television and film casting director credited with casting many of his projects.


In 1975, when Lee Daniels was 15 years old, his father, who was a police officer, was killed in the line of duty.


Lee Daniels began his career in entertainment as a casting director and manager after a chance meeting with a Hollywood producer, working on such projects as Under the Cherry Moon and Purple Rain.


Monster's Ball, the debut production of Lee Daniels Entertainment, was a critical and box office success.


Lee Daniels said he did not attend the Oscars when the film won, citing his challenges with addiction and his struggle over whether he "deserved" to attend, according to an emotional interview on MSNBC in 2019.


Former president Bill Clinton persuaded Lee Daniels to produce public service announcements to encourage young people of color to vote.


Mo'Nique won the academy award for best supporting actress, Lee Daniels was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the film received a Best Picture nomination.


Lee Daniels directed The Paperboy, based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter who penned the original script which was further developed by Lee Daniels; it starred Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman.


Lee Daniels directed the historical drama film The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, and Oprah Winfrey.


Empire, a television series created by Lee Daniels, premiered on January 7,2015.


Lee Daniels directed the first episode and co-wrote it with The Butler screenwriter Danny Strong.


In May 2021, Daniels and his production company Lee Daniels Entertainment had extended its overall deal with 20th Television.


In 2015, Lee Daniels was listed as one of the nine runners-up for The Advocate's Person of the Year.


On December 2,2016, Lee Daniels received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the television industry.


Lee Daniels stated that as a gifted creative force, he creates "unfailingly human" characters, who are "often striving to rise above difficult circumstances".


On September 16,2015, in a Rolling Stone interview, Lee Daniels was asked about actor Terrence Howard who said that his first wife "was talking to him real strong, that he lost his mind and slapped her in front of their kids" and that he got physical with his second wife too.


Lee Daniels excused the domestic violence and called Howard a "poor boy", saying that Howard "ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn".