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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 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 (1984) and Under the Cherry Moon (1986). 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 (2001), 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 (2004), 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 (2004) was not the critical success that Monster's Ball (2001) 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 (2005), a provocative drama with an intriguing cast that included Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Dorff. Shadowboxer (2005) was also the first time Lee worked with Mo'Nique; unfortunately, despite an interesting cast, Shadowboxer (2005) received mixed reviews and failed at the box office. Lee's next production, Tennessee (2008) 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 (2001). Daniels hit the mother lode with his next effort, Precious (2009), 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 »

LATEST STORIES
  
Lee Daniels Says He Discovered Cardi B Years Ago at 'Star' Audition

Lee Daniels
Discovered Cardi B ... The Proof's On My IG!!!

Lee Daniels was so enamored by Cardi B when they first met, he asked for a selfie vid with her ... and he claims it's the reason she caught her big break that propelled her career. The acclaimed… READ MORE >

Lee Daniels Says Mo'Nique Wasn't Blackballed, Needs to Shut Up

Lee Daniels
Please, Mo'Nique ... You Blackballed Yourself!!!

Lee Daniels says he knows exactly who is responsible for Mo'Nique getting blackballed from Hollywood -- Mo'Nique. The famed director tells us it's past time for Mo'Nique to quit… READ MORE >

- 81 days ago
Lee Daniels Says He Will Return Damon Dash's $2 Million Investment

Lee Daniels
I'll Give Dame Dash His $2 Million ... It's the 'Right Thing to Do'

10:37 AM PT -- It appears Dame has accepted Lee's apology, saying, "We're good bro...appreciate the honesty...time to move forward let's forget the bubble gum sh*t and get the money." Lee Daniels… READ MORE >

- 84 days ago
Damon Dash Calls Lee Daniels Total 'Culture Vulture' Over $2 Mil Debt

Damon Dash
Lee Daniels Won't Pay Me 'Cause He's a Culture Vulture!!!

Damon Dash says Lee Daniels had no problem asking him for money and exploiting his goodwill, but he has a major problem keeping his word to pay it back ... and Dame's sick of it. The Roc-A-Fella… READ MORE >

- 86 days ago
Damon Dash Sues Lee Daniels Over Alleged Millions He is Owed

Damon Dash
Sues Lee Daniels ... Where's My Money?!?!

Damon Dash is going after Lee Daniels once again, this time for screwing him out of a movie producer credit and some big time cash ... according to a new suit. The Roc-A-Fella… READ MORE >

- 87 days ago
Lee Daniels Says Stop Dreaming, Oprah's Not Running for President in 2020

Lee Daniels
Stop Dreaming, People Oprah's Not Running

Lee Daniels is clearly not on the same page as Stedman Graham, because Lee is convinced Oprah will NOT run for Prez in 2020. We got the brainchild behind "Empire" Monday leaving Equinox on the… READ MORE >

- 256 days ago
Lee Daniels Says a Gay Rapper Topping The Charts Will Happen Soon

Lee Daniels
A Gay Rapper Topping The Charts It's Gonna Happen Soon

Lee Daniels thinks his hit show "Empire" has helped cure hip-hop's homophobia and it won't be long before a gay rapper dominates the real charts. Daniels was on "Larry King Live" this week where… READ MORE >

- 306 days ago
Mo'Nique Blasts Oprah, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry ... 'Suck My D***!' (VIDEO)

Mo'Nique
Blasts Oprah, Lee Daniels AND Tyler Perry ... 'Y'all Can Suck My D***!'

Oscar winner Mo'Nique went NUCLEAR on Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah ... blaming the trio for her getting shut out of Hollywood -- in not so many words. The… READ MORE >

- 494 days ago
Paris Jackson Getting 'Star' Treatment on Lee Daniels' Show

Paris Jackson
I'm Getting the 'Star' Treatment

Paris Jackson is going to be a TV star ... officially -- she's booked her first acting gig on Lee Daniels' "Star" ... TMZ has learned.  Sources tell us Paris met with Daniels last week for a… READ MORE >

- 599 days ago
Paris Jackson Making 2017 Her Bitch!!!

Paris Jackson
Making 2017 Her Bitch!!!

Paris Jackson is making her move ... to conquer Hollywood -- with a little help from Lee Daniels. We've learned Daniels met with Paris and discussed a possible role in his new Fox show, "Star,"… READ MORE >

- 613 days ago
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