Oscar Directors: Sheridan, Jim–Background, Career, Awards, Filmography

September 27, 2020

Jim Sheridan Career Summation

Occupational Inheritance: No; brother playwright

Nationality: Irish

Social Class: working class



Formal Education: University College Dublin, English and History

Training: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, late 1970s

First Film:


First Oscar Nomination:

Gap between First Film and First Nom:

Other Oscars:

Other Oscar Nominations: In the Name of the Father, 1993; aged 44

Oscar Awards: In the Name of the Father, Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival

Nominations Span: 4 years

Genre (specialties): fact-inspired dramas

Collaborators: Daniel Day Lewis (3 films, 2 excellent)

Last Film:


Career Length: 1989-2011; 22 years

Career Output: small; about a dozen; some shorts and docus

Career Shape: Peak, 1989-1993; ages 40-44




Jim Sheridan (February 6, 1949) is an Irish playwright, screenwriter, film director, and film producer.

Between 1989 and 1993, Sheridan directed two critically acclaimed films set in Ireland (My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father) that received a combined 13 Academy Award nominations. Sheridan has personally received six Oscar Award nominations.

In addition to the above-mentioned films, he is also known for the films The Boxer and In America.

Jim Sheridan was born in Dublin, Ireland to Anna and Peter Sheridan Snr and raised in the inner city. He is the brother of playwright Peter Sheridan. The family ran a lodging house, while Anna Sheridan worked at a hotel and Peter Sheridan Snr was a railway clerk with CIÉ.

Sheridan’s early education was at a Christian Brothers school. In 1969 he attended University College Dublin to study English and History. He became involved in student theater there, where he met Neil Jordan, who also was later to become an important Irish film director.

After graduating from UCD in 1972, Sheridan and his brother began writing and staging plays, and in the late 1970s began working with the Project Theatre Company.

In 1981, Sheridan emigrated to Canada, but eventually settled in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City. He enrolled in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and became the artistic director of the Irish Arts Center.

Sheridan returned to Ireland in the late 1980s.

In 1989, he directed My Left Foot, which became a critical and commercial success and won Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker Academy Awards.

He followed that with The Field (with Richard Harris) in 1990; then with In the Name of the Father in 1993, a fictionalized re-telling of the case of the Guildford Four. The film won the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin Film Festival.

In 1996 he co-wrote Some Mother’s Son with Terry George.

The Boxer (with Daniel Day-Lewis) was nominated for a Golden Globe for best film drama in 1997. The film was Sheridan’s third collaboration with Day-Lewis after My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father, making him the only director to work with Day-Lewis on three films.

In 2003, he released the semi-autobiographical In America, which tells the story of a family of Irish immigrants trying to succeed in New York. The film received positive reviews and earned Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou Oscar nominations.

In 2005 he released Get Rich or Die Tryin’, a film starring rap star 50 Cent.

Sheridan helmed the 2009 film Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, which was shot in New Mexico.

He also directed the thriller Dream House, which starred Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz.


Title Year Director Producer Writer Notes
My Left Foot 1989 Yes No Yes Directorial Debut
The Field 1990 Yes No Yes
Into the West 1992 No No Yes
In the Name of the Father 1993 Yes Yes Yes
Some Mother’s Son 1996 No Yes Yes
The Boxer 1997 Yes Yes Yes
Agnes Browne 1999 No Yes No
Borstal Boy 2000 No Executive No
On the Edge 2001 No Executive No
Bloody Sunday 2002 No Executive No
In America 2002 Yes Yes Yes
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ 2005 Yes Yes No
Where’s Daddy! 2006 No Executive No Short film
Brothers 2009 Yes No No
Dream House 2011 Yes No No
Dollhouse 2012 No Executive No
The Secret Scripture 2016 Yes Yes Yes
11th Hour 2017 Yes No Yes Short film
First Disco 2019 No Executive No Short film
Lockerbie TBA Yes No Yes Announced
Hitmanforhire.net TBA No Executive No Announced

Acting Credits

Words Upon the Window Pane 1994 Jonathan Swift / Dean Swift
The General 1998 CPAD Leader
The Carpenter and His Clumsy Wife 2004 Narrator (voice) Short film
The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2004 The King of Spain
What If 2006 Himself Short film
Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion 2012 Father O’Brien Short film
The Family Way 2017 Eugene Short film
Death by Prescription TBA Seamus Pre-production


A Portrait of an Artist: The Making of ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ 2006 Producer Short film
Omar Sharif’s Tribute 2015 Executive producer
The Making of the Secret Scripture 2017 Executive producer
Inside Apollo House 2017 Executive producer Television film
The Making of 11th Hour 2017 Executive producer Short film
Shelter me: Apollo House 2018 Executive producer

Television series

Thursday Play Date 1979 Writer and actor Episode “Mobile Homes”
Music video
You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart by Sinéad O’Connor (1994)

Oscar Awards and Nominations

Best Original Screenplay – In America (2004), nomination (as co-writer)
Best Adapted Screenplay – In the Name of the Father (1994), nomination (as co-writer)
Best Director – In the Name of the Father (1994), nomination (as director)
Best Picture – In the Name of the Father (1994), nomination (as producer)
Best Adapted Screenplay – My Left Foot (1990), nomination (as co-writer)
Best Director – My Left Foot (1990), nomination (as director)
Berlin Film Festival

1994, Golden Bear – In the Name of the Father, winner[6]
1998, Golden Bear – The Boxer, nomination[9]
British Academy Film Awards

Best Adapted Screenplay – In the Name of the Father (1993), nomination (as co-writer)
Golden Globe Awards

Best Screenplay – In America (2002), nomination (as co-writer)
Best Director – The Boxer (1997), nomination
Independent Spirit Awards

Best Director – In America (2002), nomination
Best Director – The Secret Scripture (2016), nomination
Best Director – Brothers (2009), winner
Lifetime Achievement Award – (2015), Winner
National Board of Review

Best Original Screenplay – In America (2002), winner (as co-writer)
Writers Guild of America

Best Original Screenplay – In America (2002), nomination (as co-writer)
Gregory Peck Award

Lifetime Achievement – Dingle International Film Festival (2009)