Lewis Gilbert started out as a child actor on the London stage and in British silent films. Making his last on-camera appearance in The Divorce of Lady X (1938), Gilbert remained in the movie industry as an assistant director. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Air Corps Film Unit, receiving his first opportunity to direct. After a string of documentaries, he helmed his first dramatic feature, The Ballerina (1947). His subsequent films include the superior wartime dramas Carve Her Name with Pride (1957) and Sink the Bismarck (1960), the tender coming-of-age study Loss of Innocence (1961) and the cynical sex seriocomedy Alfie (1967). He also helmed three James Bond epics, one with Connery (1967's You Only Live Twice) and two above-average Roger Moore efforts (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker). The best of Lewis Gilbert's more recent films include a brace of adaptations of Willy Russell stage plays, Educating Rita (1983) and Shirley Valentine (1989).