Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most acclaimed performers of his generation, has announced he is retiring.
In a statement, the 60-year-old star’s spokeswoman Leslee Dart said he “will no longer be working as an actor”, trade magazine Variety reported.
“He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years,” Dart said. “This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.”
Day-Lewis, a master of method acting known for being extremely selective about his roles, is the only performer to have ever won three best actor Oscars.
He earned a golden statuette for My Left Foot (1989), in which he plays writer and artist Christy Brown, who was confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy; a second one for There Will Be Blood (2008), in which he plays a fierce oil man; and a third for the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2013).
He also earned Oscar nods for Gangs Of New York and In The Name Of The Father.
His last film Phantom Thread is slated to hit theatres in December. The movie – which saw the actor reunite with There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson – is about 1950s London, with Day-Lewis playing a fashion designer.
Born in London, Day-Lewis is the son of British poet Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon. He made his film debut in 1971 in Sunday Bloody Sunday but then turned to the stage. He appeared on screen again more than a decade later in 1982, when he landed his first adult role.
His strong on-screen presence and remarkable range quickly set him apart, earning him praise from critics and audiences alike.
Day-Lewis was said to be so deeply invested in his roles that he would stay in character even when not shooting – as was the case with Gangs Of New York, when he kept the New York accent and would be seen sharpening his knives at lunch.
He also reportedly listened to rapper Eminem to get into an angry mood for the role.
Apart from his Oscar performances, some of his most memorable other roles were in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), A Room With A View (1985), The Unbearable Lightness Of Being (1988) and The Last Of The Mohicans (1992).
But despite his stardom the actor shied away from the limelight, remaining throughout his career notoriously reclusive. He took long stretches of time away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to be with his family in Ireland and to learn “rural skills”.
During one such period in the late 1990s, while learning to be a cobbler in Florence, Italy, he was reportedly lured back to the US by producer Harvey Weinstein, director Martin Scorcese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio to take on the lead role in Gangs Of New York.
“I was very happily out of the world of filmmaking,” Day-Lewis said at the time. “I was just happily working away at other things.”
In a sign that acting would not be his lifelong passion, he told a magazine in 2005: “In every actor’s life, there is a moment when they ask themselves, ‘Is it really seemly for me to still be doing this?’.”
The actor is married to Rebecca Miller – the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller – a US actress and writer with whom he has two children.
From 1989 to 1994 he had a tumultuous relationship with French actress Isabelle Adjani, with whom he has one son. – AFP Relaxnews