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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 »

Lee Daniels Says Jussie Smollett's 'Empire' Fate Being Discussed Now

Lee Daniels
Jussie's Fate On 'Empire' ... Now Being Decided

Lee Daniels says there's an important discussion going down right now ... whether Jussie Smollett will be cut from "Empire." The "Empire" creator was out and about Tuesday in New York City when… READ MORE >

Jussie Smollett May Have Concocted Hoax After Attack on Lee Daniels' Gay Cousin

Jussie Smollett
Hoax May Have Been Concocted After Attack on Lee Daniels' Gay Cousin

Jussie Smollett might have gotten the idea to stage his own attack after Lee Daniels talked about his cousin getting assaulted because he's gay ... at least that's what some… READ MORE >

- 117 days ago
Lee Daniels and Damon Dash Settle $5 Million Lawsuit, Damon's 'Happy' with the Amount

Lee Daniels & Damon Dash
$5 Mil Lawsuit Squashed ... Dame's 'Happy' with $$$

7:35 AM PT -- Whatever amount of money Damon got in the settlement, he's satisfied with it. He tells TMZ ... "I'm good. Just happy 2 people from the culture could work things out." Lee Daniels is… READ MORE >

- 205 days ago
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 >

- 351 days ago
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 >

- 354 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 >

- 356 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 >

- 358 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 >

- 359 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 >

- 528 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 >

- 578 days ago
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