At age 12, hired public hall in Leicester and mounted an evening of harmonica solos, comic songs, and sketches
Made theater debut in a small role with Leicester's Little Theater (his mother was President)
Professional stage debut in "Ah, Wilderness!" at Palmers Green
West End debut, "Awake and Sing"
Played a deserting sailor in film debut "In Which We Serve"
Had first major stage success as Pinkie in "Brighton Rock"
Joined the Royal Air Force during World War II
Cast opposite Edward G. Robinson in John Boulting's propaganda drama "Journey Together"
Achieved star status when he reprised his role as Pinkie in the film version of "Brighton Rock"
Acted with Bryan Forbes in "The Baby and the Battleship"
Formed the production company Beaver Films with Bryan Forbes
Co-produced (with Forbes) first film "The Angry Silence"
Made first Hollywood film "The Great Escape"
Beaver Films dissolved after the making of "Seance on a Wet Afternoon"
Made film directing debut with "Oh! What a Lovely War"
Portrayed serial killer John Christie in "10 Rillington Place"
Directed the epic war film "A Bridge Too Far"
Last screen appearance for 14 years, Otto Preminger's "The Human Factor"
Won two Academy Awards for directing and producing the historical epic "Gandhi"
Served as a consultant for and provided the narration to the feature-length documentary "Mother Teresa"
Directed the screen version of the musical "A Chorus Line"; earned a Best Director Golden Globe nomination
Directed the Apartheid drama "Cry Freedom," based on the life and tragic death in police custody of prominent anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko; earned a Best Director Golden Globe nomination
Produced and directed "Chaplin," starring Robert Downey Jr. in title role
Directed the biographical drama "Shadowlands," about the relationship between C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham
Returned to acting in features for Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park"
Played Kris Kringle in the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street"
Reprised role for Spielberg's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"
Portrayed Sir William Cecil, an advisor to the monarch in "Elizabeth"
Directed Pierce Brosnan as conservationist "Grey Owl"
Lent his voice to the CBS miniseries "Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story"
Named President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)
Helmed romantic drama "Closing the Ring," Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer; also produced
Published in association with long-standing associate Diana Hawkins, his autobiography <i>Entirely Up to You, Darling</i>