The world usually weeps when a talented star is lost too soon to the limitations of life, but when one walks away from the art it can be just as painful a realization. Legendary actor Daniel Day-Lewis announced today, via a spokeswoman in an exclusive confirmation to “Variety”, that he will, in fact, walk away from acting after his next film putting an end to one of the most successful and celebrated film careers of any actor, EVER!
The three-time Oscar winner has been a defining presence on the big screen since his career began in the 1980s. In a statement to “Variety” his spokeswoman Leslee Dart confirmed Day-Lewis would retire saying “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make an further comment on this subject.” That said there is a lot of mystery behind his decision, but regardless of why Day-Lewis is stepping down from his legendary career he has nothing to regret.
Day-Lewis is the only actor ever to win three Oscars for Male in a Leading Role and only one of three men to win three or more Oscars in his career of any kind. He won his first for “My Left Foot” in 1989, his second for “There Will Be Blood” in 2007, and his third for “Lincoln” in 2012. The legendary actor has also won four BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Golden Globes, and had two other leading role nominations at the Oscars for “In the Name of the Father” and “Gangs of New York”. “Time” Magazine has called him the “World’s Greatest Actor” and it’s no mystery why. The man has dominated every role he has taken on and while he has traditionally been one of Hollywood’s most selective actors, his career has made him one of the industry’s most celebrated and respected.
Known as a “method actor”, Day-Lewis is celebrated for his extensive research into his roles. He has been said to embody everything his characters represent and is among the most devoted actors in the industry and rarely breaks character regardless of whether or not the camera is rolling. At times he has even put his own health on the line to remain in character till the end of production. His dedication is legendary. In 1989’s “My Left Foot” he actually remained in a wheel chair and demanded he be spoon fed to fully embrace the life of a man with cerebral palsy, damaging a few ribs in the process. He lived on prison rations for “In the Name of the Father” as well as spending time in a jail cell on set, trained for weeks with boxing champion Barry McGuigan for “The Boxer” and suffered numerous injuries before being considered a “pro”, and took professional training from a butcher to portray Billy the Butcher in “Gangs of New York”. One of the most noted results of his dedication comes from his 2012 film “Lincoln” where Day-Lewis portrayed the president with a higher pitch voice, one that historians admit was probably more historically accurate than any other presentation of the president on or off the big screen.
Day-Lewis is also known for being quite a selective actor. He has appeared in relatively few movies for a noted name in the industry, sometimes going years between projects as he sought out the proper role for his talent. He appeared in ten films in the 1980s and only five in the 1990s. He’s appeared in only four films between 2000 and 2010 and the 2010s will see only two roles from the legendary performer, his Oscar winning “Lincoln” performance and his final film, “Phantom Thread”, which is scheduled for release this year. He is also well known for his private off-screen life. Few know the ins and outs of Day-Lewis’s existence when he’s not on camera, and he likes to keep it that way, which is probably why he decided to keep his retirement decision relatively quiet. Day-Lewis has three children and is married to writer Rebecca Miller, who he met while filming “The Crucible”, and has a previous marriage to Isabelle Adjani. Still few know the deeper details of his personal life, which Day-Lewis himself calls a “lifelong study in evasion”.
Daniel Day-Lewis may not have been in as many films as most of his contemporaries and he may not have a public private life that sets the tabloids ablaze every week to keep him in the spotlight, but he still has a devoted and respected fanbase who will be heartbroken by his departure from the film industry. The three-time Oscar winner is in a league of his own and will remain part of film history as one of the industry’s best of all time. If not THE world’s greatest actor, he is certainly ONE OF the greatest and to him I say happy retirement. You deserve it! Thank you for the movie magic!
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