Born March 25, 1908, in Croydon, England; died April 16, 1991, in London, England. Film editor and director.
Although the director of only sixteen movies, Lean is remembered as an important filmmaker distinguished by the scope and style of his work. Beginning hisfilm career as an editor, he was invited by playwright Noel Coward in the early 1940s to codirect his In Which We Serve, considered by critics tobe a classic war movie. Lean went on to successfully film adaptations of Coward's plays as well as adaptations of nineteenth-century author Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. He is best known for directing the epic films Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago, and Lawrence of Arabia, all made between 1957 and 1965. Hislast work was the 1984 Passage to India, and he had begun preparations for a film based on Joseph Conrad's novel Nostromo. Lean received Academy awards for Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, was knighted in 1984, and received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1990.