Sam Taylor-Johnson Biography

Born: February 04, 1967

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Date of Birth: March 4, 1967

Samantha Taylor-Johnson (née Taylor-Wood) grew up in Croydon, Surrey, England with her mother, Geraldine, who is an astrologer and yoga teacher. Her father, David, left when she was nine years old. Sam also has a younger sister, Ashley, and a half-brother, Kristian, from her mother’s side. Starting as a sculptor, she began working with photography and film in the early 1990s.

In 2008, Sam directed the short film Love You More. It won the Honorable Mention Short Filmmaking award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for both a BAFTA and a Palme d’Or, the highest honor at the Cannes Film Festival. She was also commissioned in 2002 to create a video portrait of David Beckham.

Sam made her directorial feature film debut in 2009 with her film Nowhere Boy; a biopic based on the childhood of Beatles singer John Lennon. Despite having only directed one film, she was chosen to helm the highly anticipated movie adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Along with being a director, Sam has also had group and solo exhibitions of her photography including Venice Biennale in 1997 where she won the Illy Café prize for Most Promising Young Artist. The following year she was nominated for the Turner Prize, awarded annually to a British visual artist under the age of 50.

In 2011, Sam was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her service to the arts.

At age 30 in 1997, Sam was diagnosed with colon cancer. Later, in 2000, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, both of which have gone into remission. She also practices transcendental yoga.

Sam’s first marriage in 1997 to English art dealer Jay Jopling produced two daughters, Angelica and Jessie Phoenix. After 11 years of marriage, they were divorced in 2008. Not long after, Sam began dating English actor Aaron Johnson, best known for his starring role as a teen wanna-be superhero in the Kick-Ass movies, whom she directed in Nowhere Boy. Despite their age difference (he's 23 years her junior) the two were marred June 21, 2012 and both legally use the surname Taylor-Johnson. Sam and Aaron have two daughters together—Wylda Rae and Romy Hero.

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