Danny Boyle

A director with an independent approach to big-studio filmmaking, Danny Boyle was born in Manchester, England, on Oct. 20, 1956. Abandoning earlier ambitions to become a priest, Boyle jumped into theater directing, helming productions at London's Royal Court Theatre and for the Royal Shakespeare Company before transitioning to television and movies.

Boyle's 1996 film Trainspotting was daring and unexpected in its portrayal of urban drug addicts, earning the director critical acclaim and paving the way for bigger things to come. Hollywood came knocking, but more often than not, Boyle chose his own path, telling the stories he wanted to tell.

With the Bollywood-inspired rags-to-riches drama Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Boyle nabbed his first Oscar and Golden Globe for directing and later received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the 2010 adventure film 127 Days.