Because of his highly technical and visual theater productions in London and on Broadway, Sam Mendes made a smooth transition to film with "American Beauty" (1999), which earned him an Academy Award for his directing debut. Previous to his Oscar triumph, Mendes enjoyed a long and very successful career in theater, directing acclaimed and visually stunning productions of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," and Lionel Bart's popular musical "Oliver!" But it was his 1998 revival of "Cabaret" that attracted the attention of Hollywood - specifically Mendes fan Steven Spielberg, which led to the stage veteran directing his first feature. Following a few aborted film efforts and a triumphant return to theatre, Mendes returned to celluloid with the elaborate, lavish "Road to Perdition" (2002), which displayed some of the promise of his sterling debut, but ultimately failed to warm many hearts. Nonetheless, he maintained a steady output on stage and on screen, directing the Iraq War drama "Jarhead" (2005) and '50s period piece "Revolutionary Road" (2008), which starred his then-wife, Kate Winslet. Mendes took a huge commercial leap forward as the director of the 23rd and 24th James Bond films, "Skyfall" (2012) and "Spectre" (2015), which brought new emotional depth to the long-running series while confirming his status as an intelligent and deliberate filmmaker capable of crafting deeply resonant films.