40 Facts About Stephen Frears


Stephen Arthur Frears was born on 20 June 1941 and is an English director and producer of film and television often depicting real life stories as well as projects that explore social class through sharply drawn characters.


Stephen Frears has received numerous accolades including three BAFTA Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards.


Stephen Frears directed his debut feature film Gumshoe in 1971, and received widespread critical acclaim for his films in the 1980s such as My Beautiful Laundrette, Prick Up Your Ears, and Dangerous Liaisons.


Stephen Frears received two Academy Award nominations for directing The Grifters and The Queen.


Stephen Frears is known for his work on various television programs, including the television films Fail Safe, The Deal, and Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight.


Stephen Frears directed the Jeremy Thorpe BBC One biographical miniseries A Very English Scandal, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.


Stephen Frears was born on 20 June 1941 in Leicester, England.


Stephen Frears's mother, Ruth M, was a social worker, and his father, Russell E Frears, was a general practitioner and accountant.


Stephen Frears was brought up Anglican, and did not find out that his mother was Jewish until he was in his late 20s.


From 1954 to 1959, Stephen Frears was educated at Gresham's School, an independent boarding school for boys in the market town of Holt in Norfolk.


At the University of Cambridge, Stephen Frears was assistant stage manager for the 1963 footlights Revue, which starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Bill Oddie and David Hatch.


Stephen Frears spent most of his early directing career in television, mainly for the BBC but for the commercial sector.


Stephen Frears contributed to several anthology series, such as the BBC's Play for Today.


Stephen Frears produced a series of Alan Bennett's plays for LWT, including The Old Crowd.


In 1985, Stephen Frears found widespread acclaim with My Beautiful Laundrette.


Stephen Frears worked with Adrian Edmondson on Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, a 45-minute programme starring Peter Cook in The Comic Strip Presents television comedy series that aired on Channel Four in 1988.


In 1985, Stephen Frears had directed a Comic Strip parody of Daphne Du Maurier's novel Rebecca.


Stephen Frears next directed the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears, a collaboration with playwright Alan Bennett.


In 1988, Stephen Frears directed Dangerous Liaisons to widespread critical acclaim.


In 1990, Stephen Frears directed the neo-noir crime thriller The Grifters starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Anette Bening.


Stephen Frears was nominated for the British Academy Film Award for Best Direction and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for best direction.


In 1992, Stephen Frears directed the comedy drama Hero released in the United Kingdom as Accidental Hero.


Stephen Frears has directed two films adapted from novels by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper and The Van.


In 2000, Stephen Frears directed High Fidelity starring John Cusack, Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, and Joan Cusack.


In 2002, Stephen Frears directed social thriller, Dirty Pretty Things, a film about two immigrants living in London.


In 2003, Stephen Frears was attached to direct the James Bond spin-off Jinx, featuring Halle Berry as her character from Die Another Day co-starring with Michael Madsen and Javier Bardem.


In 2003, Stephen Frears returned to directing for television with The Deal, which depicts an alleged deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown over which of them should become leader of the Labour Party in 1994.


In 2005, Stephen Frears directed the British theatre comedy Mrs Henderson Presents starring Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins.


At the Academy Awards, Stephen Frears himself received his second Academy Award nomination for best direction, and actor Helen Mirren won numerous awards for playing the title role including the Academy Award for Best Actress.


Stephen Frears holds the "David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction" at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, where he teaches.


In 2013, Stephen Frears directed the drama, Philomena, which was based on the 2009 book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by journalist Martin Sixsmith based on the true story of Philomena Lee's 50-year search for her forcibly adopted son and Sixsmith's efforts to help her find him.


Many of Stephen Frears' films are based on stories of living persons, but he has never sought to meet any of his subjects.


In 2016, Stephen Frears directed the film, Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep, as the title character, a New York heiress known and aspiring opera singer despite her poor singing abilities.


In 2018, Stephen Frears returned to the limited series with A Very English Scandal which premiered on BBC One and later on Amazon Prime.


In 1968, Stephen Frears married Mary-Kay Wilmers, with whom he had two sons, Sam and Will Stephen Frears.


Stephen Frears left Wilmers while she was pregnant with their second son Will.


In December 2019, along with 42 other leading cultural figures, Stephen Frears signed a letter endorsing the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership in the 2019 general election.


Over his career, Stephen Frears has amassed numerous awards and nominations, including two Academy Award nominations, four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award nomination, and 17 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award nominations.


In 1990, Stephen Frears earned his first Academy Award nomination for directing the film The Grifters.


Stephen Frears has been acknowledged by the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Toronto film festivals.