Jim Sheridan
Born (1949-02-06) 6 February 1949 (age 74)
Dublin, Ireland
Other namesShay
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
  • playwright
Years active1989–present
Known for

Jim Sheridan (born 6 February 1949) is an Irish playwright and filmmaker. Between 1989 and 1993, Sheridan directed three critically acclaimed films set in Ireland, My Left Foot (1989), The Field (1990), and In the Name of the Father (1993), and later directed the films The Boxer (1997), In America (2003), and Brothers (2009). Sheridan received six Academy Award nominations.[1]

Life and career

Jim Sheridan was born in Dublin on 6 February 1949.[2] He is the brother of playwright Peter Sheridan.[2] The family ran a lodging house, while Anna Sheridan worked at a hotel and Peter Sheridan Snr was a railway clerk with CIÉ.[3] Sheridan's early education was at a Christian Brothers school. In 1969 he attended University College Dublin to study English and History. In 1972, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He became involved in student theatre there, where he met Neil Jordan, who also was later to become an important Irish film director. After graduating from UCD in 1972, Sheridan and his brother began writing and staging plays, and in the late 1970s began working with the Project Theatre Company.[4]

In 1981, Sheridan emigrated to Canada, but eventually settled in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York City in the United States. He enrolled in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and became the artistic director of the Irish Arts Center.[5]

Sheridan returned to Ireland in the late 1980s. In 1989, he directed My Left Foot (with Daniel Day-Lewis), which became a critical and commercial success and won Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker Academy Awards. He followed that with The Field (with Richard Harris) in 1990; then with In the Name of the Father in 1993, a fictionalised re-telling of the case of the Guildford Four. The film won the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[6]

In 1996 he co-wrote Some Mother's Son with Terry George. The Boxer was nominated for a Golden Globe for best film drama in 1997. The film was Sheridan's third collaboration with Day-Lewis after My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father, making him the only director to work with Day-Lewis on three films. In 2003, he released the semi-autobiographical In America, which tells the story of a family of Irish immigrants trying to succeed in New York. The film received positive reviews and earned Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou Academy Award nominations. In 2005 he released Get Rich or Die Tryin', a film starring rap star 50 Cent.

Sheridan helmed the 2009 film Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire. Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman, which was shot in New Mexico. He also directed the thriller Dream House,[7] which starred Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz.[8]

Discussion with Jim Sheridan at Summer Film School (CR) in 2022
Discussion with Jim Sheridan at Summer Film School (CR) in 2022

He is the son of Anne and Peter Sheridan. He has four daughters. His youngest daughter, Clodagh Amira Sheridan, is his child with film director Zahara Moufid. His three older daughters, Kirsten, Naomi, and Tess, were born to his late wife Fran Sheridan. Additionally, he has six siblings: Ita Rafferty, Peter Sheridan, John Sheridan, Frankie Sheridan, Gerard Sheridan, and Paul Sheridan.

In 2015, Sheridan was awarded UCD Alumnus of the Year in Arts & Humanities.[9]



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1989 My Left Foot Yes Yes No Directorial debut
1990 The Field Yes Yes No
1992 Into the West No Yes No
1993 In the Name of the Father Yes Yes Yes
1996 Some Mother's Son No Yes Yes
1997 The Boxer Yes Yes Yes
1999 Agnes Browne No No Yes
2002 In America Yes Yes Yes
2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin' Yes No Yes
2006 A Portrait of an Artist:
The Making of 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'
No No Yes Documentary short
2009 Brothers Yes No No
2011 Dream House Yes No No
2016 The Secret Scripture Yes Yes Yes
2017 11th Hour Yes Yes No Short film

Executive producer

Acting credits

Title Year Role Notes
Words Upon the Window Pane 1994 Jonathan Swift / Dean Swift
The General 1998 CPAD Leader
The Carpenter and His Clumsy Wife 2004 Narrator (voice) Short film
The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2004 The King of Spain
What If 2006 Himself Short film
Hannah Cohen's Holy Communion 2012 Father O'Brien Short film
The Family Way 2017 Eugene Short film
Death by Prescription TBA Seamus Pre-production

Television series

Title Year Credited as Notes
Thursday Play Date 1979 Writer and actor Episode "Mobile Homes"

Music video

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

Berlin Film Festival

British Academy Film Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Independent Spirit Awards

National Board of Review

Writers Guild of America

Gregory Peck Award


  1. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Coach Carter" Archived 22 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine, RogerEbert.com, 14 January 2005. Retrieved on 20 August 2006.
  2. ^ a b "Jim Sheridan Biography (1949-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  3. ^ Brady, Tara (9 May 2015). "Jim Sheridan: 'Cinema is kill, kill, kill'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Irish Film Archive". Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Jim Sheridan Milestones". TCM Archive Materials. Archived from the original on 20 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Naomi Watts Takes Residence in Murdered Family's 'Dream House'". Bloody Disgusting. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Rachel Weisz Fills Uni's 'Dream House' Cast". Bloody Disgusting. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  9. ^ "2015 Awards". UCD Alumni Awards. Archived from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Berlinale: 1998 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan to receive Gregory Peck Award". IrishCentral.com. 27 August 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2019.