Photo of Anthony Minghella Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella's splendid literary adaptations may make you think he's been directing his entire life, but it took him a few detours to get to the director's chair. Born on the British Isle of Wight on Jan. 6, 1954, he lectured on literature at the University of Hull before he began writing plays in his thirties.

He made his directorial debut until 1991 with Truly, Madly, Deeply and promptly won several international awards for this independent gem. The English Patient (1996), adapted from Michael Ondaatje's novel, won nine of the 13 Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture and Best Director.

His two follow-ups -- The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), based on Patricia Highsmith's thriller, and Cold Mountain (2003), based on Charles Frazier's Civil War drama -- were fairly well received, boasting great casts, smart scripts and beautiful cinematography. Minghella died an early death on March 18, 2008 from complications after a routine surgery. His last completed project was an adaptation of the novel The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

Anthony Minghella in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

2008 NR

Precious Ramotswe plies her trade as a private investigator in Botswana, uncovering corruption and malfeasance with the help of auto repair shop proprietor Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and a preternaturally gifted typist named Mma Makutsi.

  • Anthony Minghella in The English Patient The English Patient
  • Anthony Minghella in The Talented Mr. Ripley The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Anthony Minghella in Cold Mountain Cold Mountain
  • Anthony Minghella in Beckett on Film Beckett on Film
  • Anthony Minghella in Mr. Wonderful Mr. Wonderful
  • Anthony Minghella in Sunday Morning Shootout: Best of Season 1 Sunday Morning Shootout: Best of Season 1
  • Anthony Minghella in Breaking and Entering Breaking and Entering
  • Anthony Minghella in Botswana: In the Footsteps Botswana: In the Footsteps
  • Anthony Minghella in Fog City Mavericks Fog City Mavericks