Left school at age 16, going into partnership with a friend to open what became a thriving dry-cleaning business
Served in British Army
Began working for Independent Television News as assitant editor; while there launched ITN magazine program "Day by Day"
Moved to Southern Television; began producing documentaries
Moved to BBC-TV, where he became head of the Documentary Film Unit in Bristol
Feature film directing debut, "Having a Wild Weekend/Catch Us If You Can"
Made documentary on D.W. Griffith, "The Great Director," for BBC
US directing debut, "Point Blank", a gangster film starring Lee Marvin; subsequently hailed as a genre landmark
Reteamed with Marvin for "Hell in the Pacific", also starring Toshiro Mifune
First screenwriting credit, "Leo the Last", starring Marcello Mastroianni; also directed; a hit in France, it was a box-office disaster in Britain and America
Made a strong recovery directing "Deliverance"; first credit as producer but would produce all pictures from here on; received two Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director
Wrote and directed "Zardoz", an unconventional piece of science fiction starring Sean Connery
Served as Chairman of the National Film Studios of Ireland
Bombed horribly with sequel, "Exorcist II: The Heretic"
Achieved dream project, a film based on Arthurian legend, "Excaliber"
Had box office success with "The Emerald Forest"; completely convincing performance by director's son Charley as the kidnapped son raised by rain forest Indians
Became governor of British Film Institute
Scored a hit with "Hope and Glory", an autobiographical tale of growing up in Britain during "the Blitz"; served as narrator, in addition to directing, writing and producing; received three Oscar nominations
Became a co-editor and contributor to PROJECTIONS, an annual British film journal (date approximate)
Made a remarkable one-hour film, "I Dreamt I Woke Up", a personal essay-meditation on cinema, landscape and myth made for a BBC Scotland series, "The Director's Place"
Named Commander of the British Empire
Returned to tropical environs and political realities for "Beyond Rangoon"
US TV directing debut, "Two Nudes Bathing" segment of Showtime's "Picture Windows"
Named Best Director at Cannes Filme Festival for "The General" (also wrote screenplay); black-and-white film (first since his debut feature) reteamed him with actor Jon Voight
Helmed "Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman" (aired on AMC in November)
Helmed "The Tailor of Panama" based on the John Le Carre novel
Produced and Directed "Country of My Skull" starring Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche