Career: Sam started his career as a stage director. He won two Laurence Olivier Awards for his productions of The Glass Menagerie and Company in 1996, and Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya in 2003. His debut film, American Beauty, was a huge success and won him an Oscar for Best Director. His other films include Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go.
Relationships: After dating Calista Flockhart and Rachel Weisz, he met Kate Winslet in 2001 and they married on 24 May 2003. Their son, Joe Alfie Mendes, was born on 22 December 2003. They announced their separation on 15 March 2010.
FYI: Sam’s first film, American Beauty, won five Oscars - an unusual achievement for a first-time director.