Daniel Day-Lewis, who has won three Academy Awards in a distinguished career, has decided to retire from acting, according to Variety. He has given no reason for his decision.
His spokeswoman Leslee Dart says: “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 any further comment on this subject.”
Day-Lewis first gained widespread recognition with his vastly different roles in two movies that happened to open in theaters on the same weekend in March 1986. In A Room with a View, he was featured as a priggish young man in Europe during the early days of the 20th century, while in My Beautiful Laundrette, he appeared as a wild young punk in modern-day London.
From that point onward, Day-Lewis continued to make choices that confounded stereotypes. In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, he portrayed a Czech doctor with a lively romantic life who had to deal with the consequences of a Soviet invasion. He earned his first Oscar for his extraordinary performance in My Left Foot as a man with cerebral palsy who learns to write and paint with his only working limb.
In Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans, he played a most unusual and romantic action hero.
Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence saw Day-Lewis as a very proper lawyer who begins to conduct himself in a very unbecoming manner. In the Name of the Father showcased Day-Lewis in a tough-minded biographical drama that resulted in an Oscar nomination.
After the gritty The Boxer, he appeared to unofficially retire from acting for a few years, reportedly becoming a shoemaker in Italy. Then Scorsese lured him back to acting with a plum role in Gangs of New York, which earned him another Academy Award nomination.
Day-Lewis gave a lovely, nuanced performance in the drama The Ballad of Jack and Rose, followed by his galvanic turn as an oil prospector in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, for which he won his second Academy Award.
That was followed by a somewhat lighter movie, Rob Marshall’s musical Nine. Next, Day-Lewis took on the very challenging title role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, again earning an Academy Award.
Daniel Day-Lewis will next be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, set in London’s fashion world in the 1950s. It’s due out in U.S. theaters on December 25 and will give us one more opportunity to enjoy a fresh performance by one of the greatest actors of this generation.