John Madden - Details


A British native, Mr. Madden has worked extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, winning extravagant praise for Shakespeare in Love (1998), his previous feature. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and brought the director his own first Oscar nomination. It also received four BAFTAs, three Golden Globe Awards and was honoured by numerous critics.
Mr. Madden lived in the U. S. during much of the 1970s and '80s where he developed drama for National Public Radio ("Earplay"), taught playwrighting at the Yale School of Drama, and directed for the stage. Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy (1987), and Arnold Wesker's Caritas received their premieres under his direction.
Born in Portsmouth, educated at Clifton College and Cambridge, Mr. Madden began his career as Artistic Director of the Oxford & Cambridge Shakespeare Company, later moving to the BBC to work in television and radio drama.
He moved to America in 1975. After winning the Prix Italia with Arthur Kopit's Wings, he subsequently directed the play at Yale, on Broadway and for the National Theatre in London. In addition to premieres of the Feiffer/Durang/Wesker works, he mounted new productions of established plays at New York's Public and Roundabout theatres, and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Returning to England in the mid-1980s, Mr. Madden helmed numerous telepics including episodes of Inspector Morse and Prime Suspect (honored by a BAFTA nomination for an episode). He directed After the War, a 10-part television series written by Frederic Raphael, as well as Poppyland and The Widowmaker.
Back in the U. S., he filmed Ethan Frome (1993), a new adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, starring Liam Neeson and Patricia Arquette, followed by Golden Gate (1994), a story of cultural collision in Chinatown, written by playwright David Hwang and starring Matt Dillon and Joan Chen.
In England once again, he teamed up with Dame Judi Dench and Scottish comic Billy Connelly for Mrs Brown (1997). The story of an improbable - but apparently true - friendship between Queen Victoria and a groomsman received critical acclaim, two Oscars® and eight BAFTA nominations, including Best British Film. The film’s unexpected box office success set the stage for Shakespeare in Love (1998), a directorial tour-de-force for John Madden.


  • 8th April 1949 - Birth