Sir Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is a retired English actor with dual British and Irish citizenship. One of the most respected actors of his generation, he has also been hailed as one of the greatest actors in cinematic history. His numerous awards include three Academy Awards for Best Actor, making him the only male actor to have three wins in that category and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars. He won four BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. In June 2014, Day-Lewis received a knighthood for services to drama.
Born and raised in London, Day-Lewis excelled on stage at the National Youth Theatre before being accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which he attended for three years. Despite his traditional training at the Bristol Old Vic, he is considered a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. Displaying a “mercurial intensity”, he would often remain completely in character throughout the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health. He is one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only six films since 1998, with as many as five years between roles. Protective of his private life, he rarely gives interviews, and makes very few public appearances.
Day-Lewis shifted between theatre and film for most of the early 1980s, joining the Royal Shakespeare Company and playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, before appearing in the 1984 film The Bounty. He starred in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), his first critically acclaimed role, and gained further public notice with A Room with a View (1985). He then assumed leading man status with The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992). His performance in My Left Foot (1989) saw him receive his first Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Actor. Following his performance in The Boxer (1997), Day-Lewis retired from acting for three years, taking up a new profession as an apprentice shoe-maker in Italy. He returned to acting in 2000 to film Gangs of New York (2002). He won Oscars and BAFTAs again for There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012). He was also nominated for the Academy Award for his work in In the Name of the Father (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and Phantom Thread (2017). Day-Lewis announced his retirement in 2017, following the completion of Phantom Thread.