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Lee Daniels

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Lee Daniels gave his parents an early Christmas present when he entered the world on December 24, 1959; unfortunately, the Philadelphia native was to have a difficult relationship with his police officer father who later reacted violently to his son's sexuality. Despite the brutality of his childhood, Lee completed high school and became one of the most successful and noted graduates of Lindenwood University in St.Charles, Missouri.After graduation, Daniels's career took an interesting and profitable turn. He moved to Los Angeles but instead of getting involved with the film industry, Lee worked for a nursing agency and by the age of 21, had started an agency of his own. He later sold the agency for a substantial sum then began his career in entertainment, first as a casting director and later as a manager. By his mid-twenties, he was working with Prince on Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon. Despite being involved in film production, Lee continued to manage talent and grew a roster of clients that included several Academy Award nominees and winners.He created his own production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, and its first film was the acclaimed Monster's Ball, which starred Billy Bob Thornton, the late Heath Ledger and Halle Berry, who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar. Monster's Ball was a critical and financial success and as its producer, Daniels became a force to be reckoned with.In 2004, Lee used skills honed as a filmmaker to produce a series of public service announcements aimed at inspiring young people of color to vote. He worked with former President, Bill Clinton and was able to enlist actor/rap artist LL Cool J and actor/singer Alicia Keys. Lee's next production, The Woodsman, was another edgy tale about a pedophile trying to reform after being released from prison and starred Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Yasiin Bey. While The Woodsman was not the critical success that Monster's Ball was, it attracted a great deal of critical attention and earned its star, Kevin Bacon, raves for his performance.Daniels made his directorial debut with his next project, Shadowboxer, a provocative drama with an intriguing cast that included Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Dorff. Shadowboxer was also the first time Lee worked with Mo'Nique; unfortunately, despite an interesting cast, Shadowboxer received mixed reviews and failed at the box office. Lee's next production, Tennessee was not a critical or financial success but allowed Lee to help singer 'Mariah Carey' gain acting credentials after the failure of her first film, Glitter.Daniels hit the mother lode with his next effort, Precious, which he directed and produced. The film won at the Sundance Film Festival and has garnered every imaginable accolade under the sun. The film stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the title role as a Harlem teen who is the victim of unimaginable abuse from her father, mother and society. The film allowed Daniels to re-team with both Mariah Carey and Mo'Nique, who has been a revelation to both critics and audiences as Precious's abusive mother. Daniels has said that he felt compelled to bring this story of child abuse to the screen to help heal the scars from his relationship with his abusive father.  See full bio on IMDb »

Lee Daniels and Terrence Howard -- 'Empire' Lawsuit is Bogus ... You're No Lucious Lyon!

Lee Daniels & Terrence Howard
'Empire' Lawsuit is Bogus You're No Lucious Lyon!

Lee Daniels and Terrence Howard say there's no way they ripped off the idea for "Empire," because the guy suing for a billion dollars couldn't hack it in the music biz. Daniels and Howard are… READ MORE >

White House State Dinner -- Even Mark Zuckerberg Dresses Up!!! (VIDEO)

White House State Dinner
Even Zuckerberg Dresses Up!!!

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest, most powerful men in the world and dresses up for no one ... except Friday night. Zuckerberg and wife Pricilla sauntered into The White House for a State… READ MORE >

- 66 days ago
Bravo's Miss Lawrence -- I Nailed Cookie Lyon to Get on 'Empire'

Bravo's Miss Lawrence
I Nailed Cookie ... To Get on 'Empire'

Cookie Lyon was damn near upstaged on the season premiere of "Empire" by Bravo star Miss Lawrence ... who, coincidentally, got the gig because of his spot-on Cookie impression. Lawrence… READ MORE >

- 68 days ago
Lee Daniels -- Mariah Runs Ham-Muck at 'Empire Viewing' Party (PHOTOS)

Lee Daniels
Mariah Runs Ham-Muck at 'Empire' Viewing Party

Lee Daniels had an "Empire" viewing party Wednesday night at his NYC loft, and Mariah Carey watched the show in a fur-laced hammock.    Mariah took advantage of a new court ruling,… READ MORE >

- 68 days ago
Sean Penn Sues Lee Daniels -- I DON'T Hit Women

Sean Penn
Sues Lee Daniels I DON'T Hit Women

Sean Penn has sued Lee Daniels for $10 million, claiming the "Empire" creator dragged him through the mud and accused him of hitting women, just to make Terrence Howard look better.   Daniels… READ MORE >

- 70 days ago
'Empire' Sued Again -- They Stole My Show ... And I Want $500 Million!

'Empire' Sued Again
They Stole My Idea ... And I Want $500 Million!

Imagine "Empire" with Shaft in the lead role ... that was the vision one guy had, but it never got made ... and now he believes the creators of the show owe him $500 million for stealing his… READ MORE >

- 99 days ago
'Empire' Sued -- Woman Claims She's the Real Cookie

'Empire' Sued
Woman Claims She's the Real Cookie

A woman is suing the creator of "Empire," for hundreds of millions of dollars, claiming Lee Daniels lifted her life story, right down to a gay family member. Sophia Eggleston claims in her… READ MORE >

- 119 days ago
Chris Rock -- I'm Locked Up ... With Lucious Lyon! (PHOTO)

Chris Rock
I'm Locked Up ... With Lucious Lyon!!!

Chris Rock's doing hard time for season 2 of "Empire" ... as an inmate alongside the man himself -- Lucious Lyon. "Empire" co-creator Lee Daniels posted a few photos from the first day of… READ MORE >

- 160 days ago
'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels Pitches Diana Ross For New Season

‘Empire’ Creator
Pitches Diana Ross For New Season

Cookie better watch her back ... "Empire" creator Lee Daniels has got another diva in mind for the hit series – Diana Ross. Daniels chatted up our photog outside Craig’s in West… READ MORE >

- 181 days ago
'Empire' Sued -- You Stole My Life Story!!!

'Empire' Sued
You Stole My Life Story!!!

A friend of the Jackson family is suing Terrence Howard, Lee Daniels, "Empire" and others, claiming the hit show is a carbon copy of his film about his life as a "gangster, pimp and drug dealer."… READ MORE >

- 230 days ago

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