Oscar Directors: Madden, John–Background, Career, Awards, Filmography

September 29, 2020

John Madden Career Summation

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Nationality: UK

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Formal Education: Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1970, B.A. in English literature


First Film: Ethan Frome, 1993; aged 44


First Oscar Nomination: Shakespeare in Love, 1998;

Gap between First Film and First Nom: 5 years

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John Philip Madden (April 8, 1949) is an English director of theatre, film, television, and radio. He is known for directing Shakespeare in Love (1998), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He has also gained recognition for directing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) and its sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015).

Madden was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. He was educated at Clifton College in Bristol. He was in the same house as Roger Michell, who became a friend and later also a director.

He began his career in British independent films, and graduated from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1970 with a B.A. in English literature.

He started work in television, including directing Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect 4, episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (ITV, 1984–1994), and Inspector Morse.

Perhaps his most notable achievement to date was directing Shakespeare in Love, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1998, and for which he was also nominated as Best Director.[5] He lost to Steven Spielberg who directed Saving Private Ryan. The film also won the Silver Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.

Madden has since directed several films, including Proof (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), and its sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015).

Madden is serving as a Jury Member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.


1993 Ethan Frome
1994 Golden Gate
1997 Mrs Brown
1998 Shakespeare in Love
2001 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
2005 Proof
2008 Killshot
2010 The Debt
2011 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
2015 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
2016 Miss Sloane
TBA Operation Mincemeat


Poppyland 1984 (UK TV film, Screen 2)

Prime Suspect 4
After The War (UK TV Series)
Inspector Morse episodes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes episodes
The Widowmaker 1990. Madden insisted on casting David Morrissey in the lead.
Masters of Sex pilot[8]

Plays he has directed include Arthur Kopit’s Wings,[9] and the world premiere in 1980 of Jules Feiffer’s Grown Ups at the American Repertory Theater.

Between 1981 and 1996, Madden directed a series of radio adaptations of Star Wars in a BBC/NPR co-production, which included versions of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1981), The Empire Strikes Back (1983) and Return of the Jedi (1996) scripted for radio by Brian Daley.[10][11]

Before it was produced for the stage, Madden directed Wings for NPR’s Earplay series, in a production that won the Prix Italia.