John Richard Schlesinger, CBE (16 February 1926 – 25 July 2003) was an English film and stage director and actor.
Schlesinger was born in London into a middle-class Jewish family, the son of Winifred Henrietta (née Regensburg) and Bernard Edward Schlesinger, a physician. After Uppingham School and Balliol College, Oxford, he worked as an actor.
Schlesinger's acting career began in the 1950s and consisted of supporting roles in British films such as The Divided Heart and Oh... Rosalinda!!, and British television productions such as BBC Sunday Night Theatre and The Vise. He began his directorial career in 1956 with the documentary short Sunday in the Park about London's Hyde Park. By the 1960s, he had virtually given up acting to concentrate on a directing career, and another of his earlier directorial efforts, the British Transport Films' documentary Terminus (1961), gained a Venice Film Festival Gold Lion and a British Academy Award. His first two fiction movies, A Kind of Loving (1962) and Billy Liar (1963) were set in the North of England. A Kind of Loving won the Golden Bear award at the 12th Berlin International Film Festival in 1962.
His third, Darling (1965), tartly described...