Anthony Minghella was the son of immigrants from Italy, who own an ice-cream factory on the Isle of Wight, where Anthony was born on January 6, 1954. He and his two siblings, Edana Minghella and Dominic Minghella, grew up there, a popular British holiday spot. After graduating from the University of Hull, Minghella took a position as a university lecturer, but quit academia to focus on the theater and songwriting. He oversaw the music in many of his movies.
Minghella was employed as a scriptwriter on the British TV series Maybury (1981) and Inspector Morse (1987) and, as a script editor on the British TV series Grange Hill (1978), before succeeding as a dramatist in the West End, London’s equivalent of Broadway. In 1984, the London Theatre Critics named him Most Promising Playwright of the Year and, two years later, his drama “Made in Bangkok” won the the London Theatre Critics’ award for best play.
An Anthony Minghella film assured movie-goers would enjoy a film blessed with a literate script, superlative performances and first-rate production values. His great craftsmanship was apparent from the beginning, with the bittersweet comedy Truly Madly Deeply (1990), in which the ghost of Alan Rickman comes back to his lady love, Juliet Stevenson, with unintended consequences. The theme of a ghostly love also was present in The English Patient (1996) his greatest success.
It is for that film he will be best remembered. Minghella claimed that with The English Patient (1996), which won nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, that he had reached the heights of his directing career.
In addition to his theater and film awards, in 2001, Anthony Minghella was appointed a Commander of the British Empire, a step just below knighthood, in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.
Anthony Minghella died of a hemorrhage on the morning of March 18, 2008 at Charing Cross Hospital in London, England. The 54-year-old Minghella had undergone an operation to remove a growth on his neck the previous week. He was survived by his wife, Carolyn Choa, and their two children, Max Minghella, who is an actor, and Hannah Minghella, who worked as a production assistant.
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