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Danny Boyle

20 Oct 1956 (Age 62)

Danny Boyle Biography

Danny Boyle is a Golden Globe award-winning English director and film producer, best known for his work in films such as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire.

Boyle was born in Radcliffe, Lancashire into a working-class Irish Catholic family. His mother was from Ballinasloe, Co Galway, and his father was born in England, but to an Irish family. For a while, Boyle seriously contemplated priesthood and attended religious school as a teenager. Boyle was discouraged by a priest from joining the clergy; later in his life Boyle stated "I don't know if he was trying to save me or the priesthood."

Instead, he studied at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton, and at the University of Wales, Bangor. While at the university, Boyle dated actress Frances Barber.

He began his career in the theatre, first with the Joint Stock Theatre Company and then with the Royal Court Theatre, where he was Artistic Director from 1982 until 1985 and Deputy Director between 1985 and 1987.

His productions during this period included Howard Barker's Victory, Howard Brenton's The Genius and Edward Bond's Saved, which won the Time Out Award. Boyle also directed five productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 1980, Boyle started working in television as a producer for BBC Northern Ireland, where he produced, amongst other TV films, Alan Clarke's controversial Elephant before becoming a director on shows such as Arise And Go Now, Not Even God Is Wise Enough, For The Greater Good, Scout and two episodes of Inspector Morse ("Masonic Mysteries" and "Cherubim and Seraphim"). He was also responsible for the highly acclaimed BBC2 series, Mr. Wroe's Virgins.

Boyle made his feature film directorial debut with Shallow Grave, a small-scale but well-received success. Next followed the film Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Besides being quite commercially successful, the film is considered amongst the most influential and iconic of British films.

Boyle rose to prominence along with writer John Hodge, producer Andrew Macdonald and actor Ewan McGregor, in the internationally acclaimed Trainspotting, after which he relocated to Hollywood to seek a production deal with a major US studio. He declined an offer to direct the fourth film of the Alien franchise, instead making A Life Less Ordinary using British finance.

Boyle's next project was an adaptation of the cult novel The Beach. He then collaborated with author Alex Garland on the post-apocalyptic zombie film 28 Days Later.

In between the films The Beach and 28 Days Later, Boyle directed two TV movies for the BBC in 2001 - Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise and Strumpet. He also directed a short film Alien Love Triangle (starring Kenneth Branagh), and was intended to be one of three shorts within a feature film. However, the project was cancelled after the two other shorts were made into feature films: Mimic starring Mira Sorvino and Impostor starring Gary Sinise.

In 2004, Boyle directed the Frank Cottrell Boyce scripted Millions. His science-fiction film Sunshine, starring 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy, was released in 2007.

In 2008, Boyle directed Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished child (Dev Patel) on the streets of Mumbai who becomes lucky on India's variant of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Boyle also directed Ponte Tower, about a girl moving into South Africa's famed fifty-four story skyscraper near the end of the Apartheid-era only to fall under the influence of a druglord, as well as the film Solomon Grundy, about a baby who experiences an entire lifetime in just 6 days.

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