|Birth Day:||December 1, 1952|
|Birth Place:||Holland Park, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
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In 1976 Poliakoff won the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award for Hitting Town and City Sugar and in 1997 he won the Critic's Circle Best Play Award for the National Theatre production of Blinded By The Sun.
Poliakoff's first feature film was Runners, directed by Charles Sturridge, starring James Fox, Jane Asher and Kate Hardie. It received a limited theatrical release in 1983 before being shown in Channel 4's Film on Four slot. His directorial debut was the much-lauded and now rare Hidden City (1988), premiered at the Venice Film Festival and starring Charles Dance, Richard E. Grant and Cassie Stuart. His television career continued with She's Been Away (1989) starring Peggy Ashcroft and also winning awards at Venice, before a return to film with Close My Eyes (1991), starring Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves and Alan Rickman in an elaborate reworking of the incest theme that had been central to Hitting Town (1976), followed by Century (1994), with Owen, Dance and Miranda Richardson. Less successful were Food of Love (1997) with Grant, Nathalie Baye and Joe McGann and The Tribe (1998) starring Joely Richardson and Jeremy Northam, the latter eventually screened on BBC Two in the absence of a cinema distribution deal where it achieved extremely high viewing figures and was immediately repeated.
In 2005, he renewed recent criticisms of BBC scheduling and commissioning policy, arguing that the reintroduction of a regular evening slot for one-off plays on BBC1 would provide the re-invigoration of drama output that has become a priority for the corporation.
He subsequently returned to his favoured form, television, this time choosing a flexible serial format resulting in the acclaimed and Prix Italia-winning Shooting the Past (1999), the fresh critical and audience success of Perfect Strangers (2001), a family drama starring Matthew Macfadyen, Michael Gambon and Lindsay Duncan and The Lost Prince (2003), a single drama recognised with an Emmy award rare for a non-American production. The film also featured Miranda Richardson in a Golden Globe-nominated performance as Queen Mary of Teck. Michael Gambon, Gina McKee, Tom Hollander and Bill Nighy appeared in major roles. Late 2005 saw the one-off drama Friends and Crocodiles (2006) starring Damian Lewis and Jodhi May, with its overlapping companion piece, Gideon's Daughter (2006), starring Bill Nighy, Miranda Richardson and Emily Blunt, appearing early the following year. The latter won a Peabody Award in April 2007, with Golden Globes for Nighy and Blunt.
Joe's Palace was screened on 4 November 2007 on BBC One and Capturing Mary was screened on BBC Two on 12 November 2007. The Culture Show also screened a Poliakoff special, including an interview between Poliakoff and Mark Kermode and a new TV play, A Real Summer, on 10 November.
Glorious 39, starring Romola Garai, Bill Nighy and Julie Christie, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009 and was released in the UK that November.
A full length study of his work was published in 2011 Stephen Poliakoff: On Stage and Screen by Robin Nelson (published by Bloomsbury).
In 2011, Poliakoff wrote a seven-minute short film, Astonish Me, to celebrate WWF's 50th anniversary. Starring Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton, the film was shown in Odeon Cinemas in August 2011 and made available on the WWF website and YouTube.
In November/December 2016, his seven-part series Close to the Enemy was transmitted on BBC Two. Close to the Enemy is set in a bombed-out London in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Poliakoff wrote and directed Summer of Rockets, a semi-autobiographical six-part series broadcast by the BBC in June 2019. It is set in 1957, just as the UK is testing its first hydrogen bomb, and focuses on a Russian Jewish hearing aid inventor (Toby Stephens) who goes to work for MI5. It also stars Keeley Hawes, Linus Roache, and Timothy Spall.
Currently, Stephen Poliakoff is 70 years, 3 months and 21 days old. Stephen Poliakoff will celebrate 71st birthday on a Friday 1st of December 2023.
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