Simon Curtis
Curtis in 2015
Born (1960-03-11) 11 March 1960 (age 63)[1]
London, England
Occupation(s)Film director, producer
(m. 1992)

Simon Curtis (born 11 March 1960) is an English director and producer. He has directed theatre productions and the television dramas David Copperfield (1999) and Cranford (2007, 2009). His feature films include the biographical dramas My Week with Marilyn (2011), Woman in Gold (2015), and Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022).


Curtis began his career working at the Royal Court Theatre.[2] His first job was assistant director for Caryl Churchill's Top Girls.[3] He later became assistant director to both Danny Boyle and Max Stafford-Clark.[4] Theatre productions Curtis has worked on include the world premiere of Road, A Lie of the Mind, Roots, Dinner with Friends and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.[4] In 2010, Curtis directed Serenading Louie at the Donmar Warehouse.[5]

In 1996, Curtis directed episodes of the television comedy series Tracey Takes On... for HBO. He also directed the three-part television drama Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky for BBC Four in 2005. The serial is an adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's 20,000 Streets Under the Sky novels.[6]

He directed the BBC's adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford in 2007.[3] In June 2009, Curtis directed two new episodes of Cranford for the Christmas period. Titled Return to Cranford, the episodes were aired from 20 December 2009.[7]

In August 2008, Curtis directed the one-off television drama A Short Stay in Switzerland for the BBC.[8] The drama, featuring Julie Walters, was based on the true story of Dr. Anne Turner, who decided to take her own life at a Dignitas clinic in 2006.[9] A Short Stay in Switzerland was nominated for Best Single Drama at the Royal Television Society Awards and the British Academy Television Awards.[10][11]

In 2004, Curtis approached producer David Parfitt about making a film based on The Prince, The Showgirl and Me and My Week with Marilyn; two diary accounts written by Colin Clark about his time with Marilyn Monroe.[12] Adrian Hodges wrote and adapted the screenplay for the film called My Week with Marilyn. Curtis and Parfitt went to BBC Films and the UK Film Council and they put up the money for development.[12] Curtis then approached Harvey Weinstein who financed the film.[13] My Week with Marilyn was filmed in late 2010 and released in November 2011.[14][15]

In 2015, Curtis directed and executive produced the biographical film Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Holocaust survivor attempting to recover a portrait of her aunt painted by Gustav Klimt which was stolen from her family by the Nazis and had eventually become property of the government of Austria, and closely connected to Austrian identity. Curtis' wife Elizabeth McGovern has a small role as a court judge in the film.

Curtis directed the 2019 feature film adaptation of Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, starring Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried.[16]

In April 2021, it was announced Curtis would direct Downton Abbey: A New Era, the sequel to the first film and television series of the same name.[17]

Personal life

Curtis was born in London, England. He married American actress Elizabeth McGovern in 1992. The couple have two daughters and live in Chiswick, London.[18]



Year Title Contribution Notes
2011 My Week with Marilyn Director and executive producer
2015 Woman in Gold Director and executive producer
2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin Director
2018 The Chaperone Executive producer
2019 The Art of Racing in the Rain Director
2022 Downton Abbey: A New Era Director


Year Title Contribution Notes
1996 Tracey Takes On... Director Television series
1998 My Summer with Des Director Television film
1999 David Copperfield Director Miniseries
2002 Man and Boy Director Television film
2005 Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky Director Television serial
2007–2009 Cranford Director Television series
2009 A Short Stay in Switzerland Director Television film


  1. ^ "Simon Curtis". Film Society of Lincoln Center. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Inside Story: In the right direction – the cream of Britain's television directing talent". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b Curtis, Simon (18 December 2009). "My Job Directing Cranford". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Simon Curtis". The Huffington Post. AOL. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  5. ^ Paddock, Terri (30 October 2009). "Donmar Marks Curious Debut & Sondheim 80th". What's on Stage. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Patrick Hamilton's classic trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky adapted for BBC Four". BBC Press Office. 19 November 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  7. ^ "The critically acclaimed and multi-award winning Cranford returns to BBC One this Christmas with stellar cast". BBC Press Office. BBC. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  8. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (18 July 2008). "Julie Walters to appear in euthanasia drama on BBC1". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  9. ^ "A Short Stay in Switzerland – introduction". BBC Press Office. BBC. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  10. ^ "RTS award winners and nominees". The Guardian. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2010: The winners". BBC News. BBC. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b Gritten, David (5 November 2011). "My Week with Marilyn: the true story". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  13. ^ Hogan, Michael (23 November 2011). "'My Week With Marilyn': Harvey Weinstein on Michelle Williams, Marilyn Monroe & The Oscars". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  14. ^ "'My Week With Marilyn' – Feature Film". British Cinematographer. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  15. ^ "My Week With Marilyn". Entertainment Film Distributors. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  16. ^ Hemmert, Kylie (9 May 2018). "Production Has Started on The Art of Racing in the Rain". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  17. ^ Respers France, Lisa (19 April 2021). "'Downton Abbey' film sequel coming for Christmas". CNN. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  18. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (18 December 2010). "'Hollywood never suited me': Elizabeth McGovern on fleeing LA and Downton Abbey's Lady Cora". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 10 December 2011.