READ List of Famous Theatre Directors

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List of famous theatre directors, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top theatre directors in the world? This includes the most prominent theatre directors, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable theatre directors is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic theatre directors were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned theatre directors.

Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett are a great starting point for your to rank your favorites on this list. Featuring popular Broadway directors, stage directors, foreign theater directors, and more, this list has it all.  

From reputable, prominent, and well known theatre directors to the lesser known theatre directors of today, these are some of the best professionals in the theatre director field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous theatre directors ever?" and "What are the names of famous theatre directors?" then you're in the right place. 

Cate Blanchett is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Cate Blanchett Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett is an Australian actress of screen and stage. She has received critical acclaim and many accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Screen ...more

Tyler Perry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Tyler Perry Tyler Perry is an American actor, filmmaker, playwright, author, and songwriter, specializing in the gospel genre. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays during the 1990s and early 2000s. In ...more

Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Al Pacino Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. He is well known for playing mobsters, especially Michael Corleone in The Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface, ...more

Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Kevin Spacey Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known as Kevin Spacey, is an American actor, film director, writer, producer, and comedian. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast ...more

Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Julie Andrews Dame Julia "Julie" Elizabeth Andrews, DBE, is an English film and stage actress, singer, author, theatre director and dancer. Andrews, a former child actress and singer, appeared on ...more

Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Kathleen Turner Mary Kathleen Turner, better known as Kathleen Turner, is an American film and stage actress and director. Turner came to fame during the 1980s, after roles in Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, ...more

Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Alan Rickman Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is an English actor. Rickman is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in both modern and classical theatre productions. His breakout performance was as the ...more

David Schwimmer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
David Schwimmer David Lawrence Schwimmer is an American actor, director, producer, voice actor and comedian. He was born in New York City, and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was 2. He began his acting ...more

Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Orson Welles George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media: in theatre, most ...more

Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Judi Dench Dame Judith Olivia "Judi" Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA is an English actress and author. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she ...more

Ethan Hawke is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Ethan Hawke Ethan Green Hawke is an American actor, writer and director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, both as an actor and a writer, and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed two feature films, ...more

Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Philip Seymour Hoffman Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, director, and producer of film and theater. Best known for his supporting and character roles – typically lowlifes, bullies, and misfits – Hoffman ...more

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Derek Jacobi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Derek Jacobi Sir Derek George Jacobi CBE is an English actor and stage director. A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such ...more

Stanley Tucci is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Stanley Tucci Stanley "Stan" Tucci is an American actor, writer, film producer and film director. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Lovely ...more

David Copperfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
David Copperfield David Copperfield is an American illusionist, and has been described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's television specials have won 21 Emmy Awards ...more

Phylicia Rashād is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Phylicia Rashād Phylicia Rashād is an American Tony Award-winning actress, singer and stage director, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She was nominated ...more

William H. Macy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
William H. Macy William Hall Macy, Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, teacher, and director in theater, film and television. His film career has been built mostly on his appearances in small, independent ...more

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George C. Scott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
George C. Scott George Campbell Scott was an American stage and film actor, director, and producer. He was best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, ...more

Charles Laughton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Charles Laughton Charles Laughton was an English stage and film actor and director. Laughton was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and first appeared professionally on the stage in 1926. In ...more

Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Gary Sinise Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor, director, and musician. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award. Sinise is known ...more

Burgess Meredith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Burgess Meredith Oliver Burgess Meredith, known professionally as Burgess Meredith, was an American actor and director in theater, film, and television. Active for more than six decades, Meredith has been called ...more

Elia Kazan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Elia Kazan Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood ...more

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José Ferrer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
José Ferrer José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón, best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, theater, and film director. He was the first Puerto Rican actor, as well as the ...more

Charles Nelson Reilly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Charles Nelson Reilly Charles Nelson Reilly was an American actor, comedian, director and drama teacher, known for his comedic roles in stages, films, children's television and cartoons, and as a game show panelist.

Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Federico García Lorca Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. García Lorca achieved ...more

Dan Savage is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Dan Savage Daniel Keenan "Dan" Savage is an American gay activist, author, media pundit, and journalist. Savage writes the internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column Savage ...more

Michael Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Michael Redgrave Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave CBE was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.

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Peter Stormare is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Peter Stormare Rolf Peter Ingvar Storm, known professionally as Peter Stormare, is a Swedish actor, voice actor, theatre director, playwright, and musician. He is probably best known in the United States for ...more

Nobu McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Nobu McCarthy Nobu McCarthy was a Japanese Canadian actress, stage director, and fashion model.

Tony Richardson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Tony Richardson Cecil Antonio "Tony" Richardson was an English theatre and film director and producer whose career spanned five decades. In 1964 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film ...more

Richard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Richard Wagner Richard Wagner is a film score composer.

Arthur Laurents is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Arthur Laurents Arthur Laurents was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter. After writing scripts for radio shows after college and then training films for the U.S. Army during World War II, ...more

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Sam Mendes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Sam Mendes Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, CBE is an English stage and film director. He is best known for directing the comedy-drama film American Beauty, which earned him the Academy Award and ...more

Mike Nichols is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Mike Nichols Mike Nichols was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s with the improv troupe The Compass Players, predecessor of the ...more

Tommy Tune is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Tommy Tune Thomas James "Tommy" Tune is an American actor, dancer, singer, theatre director, producer, and choreographer. Over the course of his career, he has won nine Tony Awards and the ...more

Ian McDiarmid is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Ian McDiarmid Ian McDiarmid is a Scottish actor and director. He has appeared in 47 films since 1976. Internationally, he is most famous for his role as Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars film series.

Otto Preminger is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Otto Preminger Otto Ludwig Preminger was an Austrian American theatre and film director. He is known for directing over 35 feature films in a five-decade career after leaving the theatre. He first gained ...more

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Hassard Short is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Hassard Short Hubert Edward Hassard Short, usually known as Hassard Short, was an actor, stage director, set designer and lighting designer in musical theatre who directed over 50 Broadway and West End shows ...more

Henrik Ibsen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Henrik Ibsen Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism ...more

Vincente Minnelli is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Vincente Minnelli Vincente Minnelli was a film director.

Ned Sherrin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Ned Sherrin Edward George "Ned" Sherrin, CBE was an English broadcaster, author and stage director. He qualified as a barrister and then worked in independent television before joining the BBC. He ...more

Micky Dolenz is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Micky Dolenz George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, Jr. is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as the drummer and lead singer of the 1960s ...more

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Bob Crowley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is a theatre designer, and theatre director. Born in Cork, Ireland, he is the brother of director John Crowley. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has designed over ...more

Jerome Robbins is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Jerome Robbins Jerome Robbins, was an American theater producer, director, and dance choreographer known primarily for Broadway Theater and Ballet/Dance, but who also occasionally directed films and ...more

John Gielgud is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
John Gielgud Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH, was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who ...more

Harold Pinter is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Harold Pinter Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than ...more

Craig Lucas is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Craig Lucas Craig Lucas is an American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director.

Noël Coward is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Noël Coward Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a ...more

Simon Callow is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Simon Callow Simon Phillip Hugh Callow, CBE is an English actor, musician, writer, and theatre director.

Andrei Tarkovsky is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Theatre Directors
Andrei Tarkovsky Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Soviet and Russian film-maker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director. Tarkovsky's films include Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev, ...more