Lewis Gilbert

Lewis Gilbert CBE (born 6 March 1920 in Hackney, London) is a prolific British film director, producer and screenwriter, who has directed more than 40 films during six decades; among them such varied titles as Reach for the Sky (1956), Sink the Bismarck! (1960), Alfie (1966), Educating Rita (1983), and Shirley Valentine (1989), as well as three of the classic James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). In 2001 he was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute, the highest accolade given in the British film industry. Lewis Gilbert was born in Hackney, London on 6 March 1920 as the son to a second-generation family of music hall performers, and spent his early years travelling with his parents, and watching the shows from the side of the stage. He first performed on-stage at the age of 5, when asked to drive a trick car around the stage. This pleased the audience, so this became the end of his parents' act. When travelling on trains, his parents frequently hid him in the luggage rack, to avoid paying a fare for him. His father contracted tuberculosis when he was a young man. He died aged 34, when Gilbert was seven.



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