Got a Tip? Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here


  • FS1
    9:00 PM PST

    9:30 PM PST

Lee Daniels

Powered by imdb

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 attended Lindenwood University in St.Charles, Missouri for two years.Daniels's career took an interesting and profitable turn. He moved to Los Angeles started a nursing 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 »

Mariah Carey -- Soakin' Up the Spotlight (VIDEO)

Mariah Carey
Soakin' Up the Spotlight

Mariah Carey is a breath of fresh air ... finally a celeb who goes to an L.A. restaurant known as a paparazzi hangout, and then doesn't pretend she's shocked or put out. Mariah owned the moment… READ MORE >

Sean Penn -- Gets Apology from Lee Daniels ... Defamation Lawsuit Settled

Sean Penn
Gets Apology from Lee Daniels ... Defamation Suit Settled

Sean Penn just scored a victory over Lee Daniels in his defamation lawsuit ... which they settled, but what's extraordinary is the apology letter Daniels had to write. The "Empire" co-creator… READ MORE >

- 174 days ago
Lee Daniels -- Wins 'Empire' Rip-off Lawsuit

Lee Daniels
Wins 'Empire' Rip-off Lawsuit

"Empire" and its co-creator Lee Daniels just scored a huge victory -- a judge shot down one of those many lawsuits claiming the idea for the show was jacked from someone else. A guy named Jon… READ MORE >

- 208 days ago
'Empire' Lawsuit -- Lee Daniels Screwed Me, So I'm Making My Own 'Empire' (VIDEO)

'Empire' Lawsuit
Lee Daniels Screwed Me ... So I'm Making My Own 'Empire'

Ron Newt ... the former pimp who's suing Terrence Howard and Lee Daniels for jacking his life story to make "Empire" has created a reality version of the show, and he's… READ MORE >

- 211 days ago
Madonna -- Sean Penn NEVER Hit Me ... Testifies in Lee Daniels Case

Sean NEVER Hit Me ... Testifies in Lee Daniels Case

Madonna is jumping to her ex-husband Sean Penn's defense -- declaring under oath that Lee Daniels got it wrong when he insinuated Sean was a woman beater. Penn's attorneys filed a declaration from… READ MORE >

- 313 days ago
Transgender 'Housewife' -- Lands Role On 'Empire' Spin-Off

Transgender 'Housewife'
Lands Role On 'Empire' Spin-Off

Amiyah Scott, the transgender woman who tried to get on "Real Housewives of Atlanta," is getting a bigger break now in Hollywood because she's been cast in the "Empire" spin-off. Amiyah didn't… READ MORE >

- 324 days ago
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 >

- 375 days ago
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 >

- 395 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 >

- 397 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 >

- 397 days ago

Around The Web