Charles Sturridge

Active - 1968 - 2015  |   Born - Jun 24, 1951   |   Genres - Drama, Children's/Family, Adventure, Avant-garde / Experimental, Historical Film

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

An actor-turned-writer/director whose keen sense of history, love of literature, and fascination with fantasy have resulted in a variety of compelling works in both film and television, Charles Sturridge nurtured a love for theater early on when he appeared in National Youth Theater productions of Zigger Zagger and A Midsummer Nights Dream, later advancing to become president of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. A brief onscreen career with roles in Lindsay Anderson's If... and the Emmy-award winning miniseries Edward the King followed before Sturridge opted to take a turn behind the camera to helm episodes of Stangers and The Spoils of War shortly thereafter. Subsequently assured in his strengths as a director, Sturridge would cement his status as a skilled storyteller with the BAFTA and Emmy-winning miniseries Brideshead Revisited in 1981, and in 1983 the emerging director launched his feature career with Runners, an affecting tale of teenage runaways. Sturridge would later distinguish himself as a period specialist with such well-received dramas as A Handful of Dust and Where Angels Fear to Tread, with his turn towards fantasy in the 1996 miniseries Gulliver's Travels proving just how effectively the two genres could mix. In 1997 Sturridge would charm viewers by recounting the ingenious hoax of two World War I-era girls who had claimed to photograph fairies in Fairy Tale: A True Story, with an adaptation of Samuel Beckett's play Ohio Impromptu serving to reunite the director with Brideshead Revisited star Jeremy Irons in 2000. Yet another screen venture alongside Irons would follow when Sturridge recounted the 18th century race to discover the longitude of the sea in the BAFTA-winning made-for-television movie Longitude. By now it appeared as if the ocean was simply in Sturridge's blood, and in 2002 the director would team with Shakespeare specialist Kenneth Branagh for Shackleton, a BAFTA-and Emmy-award winning account of Ernest Shackleton's heroic effort to save his 28-man crew after their boat is destroyed by pack ice during a 1914 expedition to the South Pole. In 2005 Sturridge returned to the big screen to revive the screen career of everyone's favorite rough collie with Lassie, a feel-good adventure for the entire family that starred Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton, and Peter Dinklage.

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