Born March 1, 1921, in Brighton, England; died of heart and liver ailments, February 25, 1995, in Slough, Berkshire, England. Film director. Clayton was noted for his direction of Room at the Top, a 1958 British film starring Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret. Room at the Top began a cinematic trend towards the realistic portrayal of both sex and working-class values. Considered an accomplished craftsman in the style of David Lean and Carol Reed, Clayton'sfilms are noted for their underlying melancholy. Born in Brighton, he left school at age 15 to begin a career in films working as a gofer for director Alexander Korda. After serving in the Royal Air Force as a photographer duringWorld War II, Clayton worked in cutting rooms and as a production manager before directing his first film. His directorial debut, The Bespoke Overcoat, won him an Academy Award for best short film in 1956. Other films directed by Clayton include The Innocents, 1961; The Pumpkin Eater, 1964; The Great Gatsby, 1974; Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1981; and The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, 1987.