Sam Mendes Samuel Alexander Mendes, CBE (born August 1, 1965) is an English stage and film director born in Reading, Berkshire, England. He is the son of a Trinidadian Portuguese Protestant father and an English Jewish mother. His father, Peter, is the son of the Trinidadian writer Alfred Mendes, author of the novels Black Fauns and Pitch Lake, and part of the group around CLR James and Albert Gomes which produced the Beacon literary magazine in the early 1930s. His secondary education was at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and he later attended the University of Cambridge. As a stage director, he is probably best known for his 1998 production of Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming.
As a film director, he is best known for his debut film, American Beauty, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.
In 2000, Mendes was made a Commander of the British Empire.
After a string of romances with actresses, including Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart and Rachel Weisz, Sam married English actress Kate Winslet on May 24, 2003 in Anguilla in the Caribbean. Their first child, Joe Alfie Winslet-Mendes, was born on December 22, 2003. Mendes also has a step-daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton, from Winslet's first marriage to assistant director Jim Threapleton. The family now lives in New York City and Cotswolds, England.