Date of Birth: 1952
Born in New York City but raised in Los Angeles, Mimi Leder attended Los Angeles City
College and was the first woman accepted as a cinematography student at the American
Film Institute. Leder made the transition from cinematographer to director after
working for six years as a script supervisor. Her short film, Short Order Dreams,
served as a calling card and got the attention of Steven Bochco and Greg Hoblit,
who hired her to direct an episode of L.A. Law.
After working for two seasons as director/producer on China Beach, where she
met and worked with writer/producer John Wells, Leder took a break from
episodic TV and directed numerous television movies and dramatic pilots. It
was Wells who lured her back to full-time work by offering her the
opportunity to become one of a handful of core directors for an offbeat
Warner Bros. production he was writing and co-executive producing < a show
that, according to the conventional wisdom of the time, wasn't expected to
last through its first season. The show was called ER.
Picked personally by Steven Spielberg, Leder's first feature film was the
action-adventure The Peacemaker, which was also Dreamworks' first release.
Spielberg was familiar with Leder since Amblin, his other company, produced
ER, for which she went on to win two Emmys.
Starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, The Peacemaker was followed up by
Deep Impact, one of summer 1998's summer hits that focused on a comet on a
collision course to Earth. After directing two action movies, Leder was
looking for something more personal. That was Sentimental Journey (1999), an
epic love story about her mother and father set in WWII.
She steered clear of action again with Pay It Forward (2000). Starring Haley
Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, the film revolves around a boy who
wants to make the world a better place.
Pay It Forward(2000)
Sentimental Journey (1999)
The Peacemaker (1997)