Philadelphia's own Lee Daniels, a film and television producer and director, was born on Christmas Eve in 1959 to Carla Wilson and William L. Daniels. Lee had a difficult childhood. He was abused by his police officer father regularly because of his sexuality and then his father was killed in the line of duty. It took many years and much effort for Daniels to succeed in filmmaking. His first major successes were working on the critically acclaimed dramas Monsters Ball (2001) and The Woodsman (2004). He made his directorial debut with Shadowboxer (2005). Daniels has since become widely known for his Academy-Award-nominated movie Precious (2009), which he directed and produced. He then continued his streak of success with the release of The Butler in 2013, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, as well as the popular television series "Empire" starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. Daniels has overcome many obstacles in his life and continues to use them on screen in hopes of helping people find their way just as he did.
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