Daniel Day Lewis is officially retiring from acting following one last role

Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day Lewis hasn’t had to do a promotional tour and an inevitable awards season rigmarole since late 2012-early 2013. That was when he was promoting Lincoln. Legend has it that Steven Spielberg had his heart set on DDL for Abraham Lincoln, and DDL repeatedly refused and Spielberg went to Liam Neeson, and then finally DDL relented and agreed to do the movie. But of course he went full-Method, reportedly using his Lincoln accent on and off the set and wandering around the locations in his full Lincoln costume. And to be fair, Daniel Day Lewis really did promote the film: he went to Q&A sessions, he went to awards shows, he gave interviews and he played the game. And we should have known then that it was his final time (sort of). DDL’s publicist confirmed to Variety yesterday that Daniel is officially retiring.

Three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, widely considered one of the preeminent actors of his generation, is retiring from acting, Variety has learned. The 60-year-old star, who has played presidents, writers, and gang leaders in a career that has spanned four decades, has one final film awaiting release, an untitled drama set in the world of high fashion. It is scheduled to hit theaters on December 25, 2017 and reunites him with Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Day-Lewis to a best actor Oscar in 2007’s “There Will Be Blood.” Day-Lewis intends to help promote the movie, according to a person familiar with his plans.

He did not give a reason for his retirement. In a statement, Day-Lewis’ spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, confirmed the news: “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject. ”

Day-Lewis is the only performer to ever win three best actor Oscars. They came for the title role in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” for his turn as a rapacious oil man in “There Will Be Blood,” and for his performance as writer and artist Christy Brown in “My Left Foot.” He earned two other Academy Award nominations for “Gangs of New York” and “In the Name of the Father.”

Day-Lewis has three children and is married to writer and director Rebecca Miller.

[From Variety]

All of Daniel’s performances are worth watching, but my favorites are In the Name of the Father and, bizarrely, perhaps, Age of Innocence. I also loved him in Nine, because it was such a light role for him, and I wish he had spent more of his career working with women (he’s surrounded by a stellar cast of women in that film). I’m very interested in this fashion industry film with Paul Thomas Anderson. And yes, I think DDL will inevitably be nominated for another Oscar for whatever it is. He’ll probably even win, especially now, considering it’s his final performance.

Incidentally, I seriously doubt there’s any shady gossip here – before this, DDL was averaging one film every four years or so. He just likes being at home with his family.

PS… His bone structure will be missed from our screens. My God, his face! HIS CHEEKBONES. Those eyes!

BAFTAs Pressroom

'Lincoln' Photocall at Casa de America

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

74 Responses to “Daniel Day Lewis is officially retiring from acting following one last role”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. lightpurple says:

    In the Name of the Father was my favorite DDL film as well. Must now go find the title song to start my day. Good luck to him in whatever he chooses to do next.

    • SM says:

      That movie is one of the best movies ever. The title song by Bono and Gavin Friday was amazing too. I will miss watching him on screen

    • Jenny says:

      Same. Ever since I saw In the Name of the Father in the 90’s DDL has been my favorite (living) male actor. I’ll miss him as an actor but he’s earned his retirement.

  2. smcollins says:

    I was reading about this last night. Such a disappointment, but I guess it was inevitable. He always took years between films and I never realized how much I missed watching him until he popped back up again. I really hope his final role is his swan song. He’ll be missed!

    • rty says:

      Just took a look at his imdb. One movie per 2-4 years for the past two decades and still a household name… impressive.

      As for the retirement, people at the daily mail are guessing illness but I just noticed he turned 60 a few weeks ago, maybe this was the plan all along?

  3. Louise177 says:

    Daniel has been semi-retired for years so no surprise. Maybe because he rarely acts but Daniel is great in everything he does.

  4. Jeesie says:

    He’s done this before. When he went off to be a cobbler that was meant to be his retirement, but he got coaxed back by Scorsese.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a comeback in a decade or so.

  5. Pia says:

    Meh….always thought he was not versatile. Always in drama roles, no action, comedy or romance films.

    Tom Hanks retiring….that would be dreadful.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Agreed, Pia. The only one of his movies I was able to get through more than once was Last if the Mohicans, and that’s only because of the rest of the cast.

    • SusanneToo says:

      He was in A Room With a View and he was wonderful. It was the same time that he did My Beautiful Laundrette, showing his versatility. And did you miss The Last of the Mohicans, in which he was very romantic/swoonworthy? Age of Innocence? Nine(musical)?

      • lightpurple says:

        He was hilarious as Cecil Vyse in Room with a View. And he did the comedy Stars & Bars with Joan Cusack, Martha Plimpton and the recently departed Glenne Headley.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        He was heartbreaking in A Room with a View and I remember learning well after being moved by the performance in My Beautiful Laundrette that the charismatic young lead was the now-famous DDL. He can do whatever he wants.

      • Katenotkatie says:

        Was just talking about My Beautiful Laundrette with a friend! Gorgeous film. And don’t forget how foxy he was in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. DDL 4ever <3

      • notasugarhere says:

        Stars and Bars! Once of the funniest takes on outsider-visits-crazy-Americans I’ve seen. Paddling your canoe across the inside lake to get to the elevator in your themed US hotel – because of course you have to do that.

      • maisie says:

        A Room with a View and My Beautiful Laundrette were released in the US in the same year and really showcased DDL for the great, versatile actor he is (and ARwaV’s Cecil was a deeply comic AND poignant role, one he took after refusing the “hero” role of George).

        And thank you for mentioning Stars and Bars – I’d completely forgotten about it. Joan Cusack’s super-mannered performance in it drove me nuts, but I loved DDL. Still, my favorite DDL role was Newland Archer in The Age of Innocence (it was very like Cecil Vyse, actually). I think he was at his most beautiful in that role; but I’ll admit Lincoln showed him at the height of his powers.

        As Amy Poehler said to DDL last night on Seth Meyers: “I love you, dude! Don’t quit! We need you! Times are tough!”

    • Jegede says:


      Agreed. That’s why I have never been on the DDL train.

      I can pretty much predict what his role is going to be about. It’ll be -: long, over wrought, there will be death, moral dilemma, ‘silent acting’ e.t.c Not for me.

      Now Gene Hackman is one actor who retired who never seems to get the esteem of his 70s peers like Hoffman, Pacino, De Niro.

      Hackman was a superb performer.
      Able to do menace and light, the hero or the heavy, drama and comedy, really mix up his persona and performances.

      There was nothing I could deduce, or expect, from a Gene Hackman film. He was always able to surprise me. Him I miss.

      • oliphant says:


        totally agree with you- he is utterly amazing, one of the few actors who elevates whatever he’s in and is so versatile. I can only think of DDL, gary oldman, Anthony hopkins, ben mendelsohn, who are in the same acting range for me- that they are so good you forget you’re watching them and totally buy into whatever character they are.

        plus hackman was THE BEST lex author. sigh.

      • Chrissy says:

        I loved Gene Hackman too. From Bonnie & Clyde to The Conversation to The French Connection , Hoosiers, Crimson Tide (with Denzel) , I loved them all. Hackman didn”t start acting until he was around 40 years old but he did amazing work until his retirement due to ill health. Sorry to gush. LOL

      • SusanneToo says:

        @Chrissy did you see Night Moves? One of my all time favorites with Hackman.

        Trivia tidbit: Hackman, Hoffman and Duvall were roommates when they were struggling unknowns in NYC.

      • Jegede says:


        I mean I loved him in The Conversation; was conflicted in The French Connection; trusted him in Mississippi Burning and laughed my head off at The Birdcage.

        Only Hackman can have that fluidity in performances in different genres.

        Such is his ease, that his acting seems so light to be non-chalant.

        And YES on Lex Luthor

    • Tiny Martian says:

      Really? That’s interesting. I feel exactly the opposite: love DDL, but think Hanks is incredibly overrated.

      That’s why I come to Celebitchy: I’m always curious to hear a different point of view.

      • Chrissy says:

        I agree about Tom Hanks. He doesn’t seem to have as much range as some other greats. DDL was great in the Unbearable Lightness of Being and Room with a View – two very different wonderful performances.

      • tracking says:

        The thing is, Hanks used to be hilarious. When I want to laugh, I’ll still pull out Volunteers and Money Pit. But for the last two decades, he has fixated on portentous, white savior roles. So boring. Mr. tracking made me watch “Sully.” Interesting enough story, but Hanks’ characterization was so dull and one-dimensional compared to the real man.

      • LAK says:

        What @tracking said.

        I love early Hanks films. Won’t watch anything past PHILADELPHIA

      • third ginger says:

        I really liked BRIDGE OF SPIES. Hanks is very understated as is Oscar winner Mark Rylance.

      • notasugarhere says:

        When I need to laugh at something completely silly? Splash, Joe vs. the Volcano, Dragnet, Big, Man with One Red Shoe, and Turner & Hooch please.

      • elle says:

        Agree about DDL vs. Hanks. Hanks was tolerable to funny in his early days, but now I can’t deal with his stuffed shirt white man portrayals.

    • Jeesie says:

      I think he was fairly versatile. There’s a huge difference between say, Cecil Vyse and Daniel Plainview. Or Newland Archer and Bill The Butcher. John Proctor and Christy Brown. He’s not a jack of all trades, but very, very few actors are. You don’t see many going from gross out comedy to romantic drama to edgy indie to big budget action hero to prestige Oscar bait. Not fully successfully anyway.

      I do think he got stuck in a rut of only taking roles that matched his status as the best working actor. A prestige role doesn’t equal great movie or even great character. I actually think Hanks has ended up in a similar rut, mostly taking on ‘Tom Hanks’ roles instead of branching out. Though not as badly as Pacino and De Niro. Now that’s a rut.

    • Jaded says:

      He is a remarkably versatile actor and if all you can measure him by is one not very good movie where he played a native American then you’re missing out on some amazing acting – every role from physically challenged to action to period pieces…he is a terrifically nuanced actor – so good that he disappears into the character without resorting to Hollywood extravagance.

      I think he’s at a stage in his life that many 60-somethings arrive at where he wants to break away from stardom to do more worthy things. It’s what I did when I hit 60, what most folks I know who are the same age are doing. Time to give back.

    • M.A.F. says:

      Nine was a full-blown musical.

  6. Jenns says:

    He may be back.

    I mean, someone needs to play Trump in a movie about him in ten years.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Twitter is suggesting he play Comey. As one commenter said, “He’s the only actor who could convince you he’s 6’8″.”

    • Pedro45 says:

      Now that’s just mean! You all know how Method DDL is. What do you think it would do to his psyche to stay in character as Trump for an entire movie shoot?!

    • notasugarhere says:

      If we’re casting Drumpf? Dye John Cusack blond and he’s uncomfortably Trump-looking, right down to the smirk, eye bags, small mouth, and little hands.

  7. Jane says:

    Incredible actor. LOVED him in Age of Innocence.

  8. lizzie says:

    i also love the Age of Innocence. Everyone was at their best in that film and it was an awesome departure for Scorsese. DDL probably gets so exhausted from going so full method. i don’t know how necessary it is (what was the famous line from laurence olivier to dustin hoffman? dear boy, why don’t you try acting?) but honestly – how many times can you really put yourself through it?

  9. Mel says:

    In the Name of the Father…sigh…I love that film.
    It was gut-wrenching the first time I saw it and still is.
    I love DDL but I think it’s also because his performances are few and far between so you don’t have an overexposure issue.
    His talent is indisputable, hence the “privilege” of being able to go away and come back.
    That’s something newcomers don’t have. They don’t get to be missed. They binge-act when they’re at the top but then we get fatigue and they don’t know why…
    I even loved DDL in Nine, and that movie was terrible.

  10. Blare says:

    Why the announcement, if you want to retire then good for you but to put out a statement and then to say it’s a private decision and no further comment is contradictory. If u want to keep it private then don’t make public statements, no one noticed DDL wasn’t making movies anymore.

    • frisbee says:

      Well the industry probably notice so maybe he’s done it to discourage the offers he knows he’s going to turn down and save everybody the hassle – including himself.

  11. frisbee says:

    Don’t blame him, he’s done his bit and he has never struck me as an actor driven by ego, he seems driven by an incredibly high level of perfectionism that must be totally exhausting As lizzie say’s above it must wear him out and have an effect on his family life. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give a bad performance and when he’s good he’s in a league of his own. He was amazing in My Left Foot, brilliant in The Name of the Father (Emma Thompson was pretty good as well) but for the sheer punch of his very masculine beauty I tend to go for Last of the Mohicans as he is so swoonsomely gorgeous in that I can ignore the rest of the story and just gawp at him.

  12. spidey says:

    Does he do method – in which case he must be a nightmare to be around when he is working?

    • nana says:

      Yes, he’s method. In There Will Be Blood the actor who was meant to play Eli Sunday was replaced/quit because he was too intimidated by DDL as his character was a violet bully and DDL didn’t break character outside of filming. He was replaced a couple of days into the shoot with Paul Dano who was only meant to have a two line bit-part. The beatings Dano got in the role were real (plus he had to duck and dive away from hurled bowling balls), and the atmosphere was highly charged throughout the shoot, but there is a scene where Dano had to “exorcise” DDL and was instructed/directed to slap him, so I suppose he got his revenge eventually. /film trivia

    • third ginger says:

      Hello, dear. I have followed him since he was young. From my reading, his on set eccentricities are wildly overblown. However, if there is an actor for whom I could be called that insulting word “stan” it would be Sir Daniel. Just adore him.

  13. justme says:

    DDL is an incredible actor – so many roles – In the Name of the Father, The Age of Innocence, There will be Blood, Lincoln etc. etc. But the one which “stirs me deeply” is Last of the Mohicans – DDL running running through the woods – glorious! Good luck to him!

    • Stephanie says:

      Ha!! This is what. I came here to say. THAT is the role that awakened my sexuality at 13…

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Ha! It’s good for the occasional reawakening once you’re post-menopausal, too! 😛

    • CynicalAnn says:

      ” I will find you!” Swoooonnnnnsssss. I love that movie and I am fanning myself thinking about him in it.

  14. Saskia says:

    Brilliant actor. My favorite DDL film is the powerful The Last of the Mohicans. DDL and Madeleine Stowe had great chemistry in that film. He will be back though … eventually.

  15. Tiny Martian says:

    Aw, I have a real soft spot for him. Fell in love with him in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and never looked back. For me he is without a doubt the very finest actor of his generation. No one else comes close.

  16. Deedee says:

    Maybe this is part of his method acting for playing an actor in retirement?

  17. FishBeard says:

    Methinks he’s doing this for another oscar. Brilliant actor, yes, but soooo not above playing the game.

    • third ginger says:

      Been watching him for 35 years. NO actor has wanted fame less.

      • third ginger says:

        Fishbeard, did not mean to sound snappy.

      • SW says:

        Pursuit of fame and seeking recognition of a good day’s work are different imo. You don’t have to claw for fame in order to pursue accolades. I’m a long term fan, too, and as much as he doesn’t crave fame I do think he enjoys receiving prestige awards and recognition from his more serious minded peers.

      • third ginger says:

        SW. I don’t disagree about his enjoying the awards. But a fake retirement for a fourth Oscar does not sound plausible. That’s what I was responding to, and I did not express myself clearly. sorry.

  18. third ginger says:

    I have said here before that he has been my favorite actor for over 30 years. I was devastated to hear this. While film fans have their differing opinions, which is good and healthy, within the industry, this man is a god! What I always wish is that great artists knew how much their work means to audiences. I have so many life events that coincide with Sir Daniel’s work. Just one was my joy at going to see LAST OF THE MOHICANS when I was 7 months pregnant. I got off bed rest [high risk pregnancy after a stillbirth and miscarriage] and I was thrilled to munch popcorn and see our greatest living actor at the height of his beauty. My beloved daughter is also a fan. My favorite performance: LINCOLN.

    • Escaped Convent says:

      third ginger,
      It must have been thrilling to see Last of the Mohicans on a big screen! I’ve only seen it on a TV screen. I don’t think any woman who has seen him as Nathaniel, running through the forest with that luscious hair streaming after him, has ever quite recovered. I know I haven’t! I love him.

  19. Kate says:

    Hands down one of my favorite actors. Still handsome as all hell and choosy about what he does. Seems to be a devoted family man too. Adored him as Hawkeye, he blew me away in My Left Foot, he freaked me out as Bill the Butcher and Plainview, and had me riveted as Lincoln. There are so many more that I can’t even keep track. He’s just gorgeous and immensely talented.

  20. GingerCrunch says:

    Glad I lived during a time when he was making movies! The HuffPost headline momentarily made me think he’d died, so I’m relieved he’s just retiring. I hope he enjoys what I imagine is a really beautiful life with his family!

  21. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    PT Anderson will drag him back for his version of King Lear. Guaranteed.

  22. Rory says:

    This made me upset. I hope he comes back. There’s no one quite like him.

  23. smee says:

    To me, no other actor of this time can compare – talent or looks. But I do get it – better to retire at the top of your game than besmirch your career like Deniro has done with junk movies for $$$

    • Nem says:

      It’s quite funny to make a comparison with our age prestige film superstar leo who is sinking with corruption money and pussy posse instead of perfecting his very overrated actor’s skills.
      Watching him being cannibalized by Daniel Day Lewis in absolute alpha male mode was quite a thing in gangs of new York ,and prophetic in a way.
      Ddl may be the last of his kind at this level for quite a time.
      His cecil vyse was insane. 😂

  24. Anitas says:

    He’s aged so well!

  25. hogtowngooner says:

    I’m a big fan of his work for a long time. He absolutely floored me in In The Name Of The Father. If you haven’t seen it, please do. It’s heavy (it is DDL, after all), but it’s a great film overall.

  26. Plibersek says:

    Hmm. He’ll be joining Robert Deniro in retirement.

  27. Bethy says:

    Since I’ve always been more of a Pacino fan, I’ve never been a huge DDL fan, but his performance in My Beautiful Launderette, to me, is perfection.

  28. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    He’s gorgeous. I hope he’s as gentle a soul as he appears when he’s at awards shows, etc. Love him.