Date of Birth: December 16, 1963
Hailing from the Big Apple, Mangold was the son of two celebrated painters. With an early interest in film, he began making his own short live-action and animated films as early as age 11. After high school, Mangold studied acting and film at the California Institute of the Arts. During his time in school, he managed to write and direct four short student films, including the award-winning Barn in 1985.
Just as he was packing his bags to go home to New York, he received three phone calls from major studios requesting his employment. Mangold decided to sign a one-year contract with Disney, and started working on the screenplay for the animated feature, Oliver & Company (1988). When his contract ended, Mangold drifted around Los Angeles doing odd jobs such as writing for trailers and kids' television shows. Returning to his studies, Mangold returned to New York to earn his Masters Degree from Columbia University.
After completing a number of impressive shorts in school, he penned and directed the feature Heavy (1996), a nearly wordless film about an overweight chef at a rust belt tavern. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Direction as well as awards at the Gijón International Film Festival.
Two years later Mangold released his second feature, Cop Land, a police drama inspired by the town in the Hudson Valley in which he grew up. The independent low-budget film fared well with the critics and had a good run at the box office. Next up was Girl, Interrupted, a insider's look at a women's insane asylum. Critics had a mixed reaction on this film, but the greatest highlight was the performances by the starring cast: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie and Brittany Murphy.
Mangold, who started the 21st century with the romantic comedy Kate & Leopold (2001), won an Amanda Award in Norway for Best Foreign Feature Film in 2006 for the critically-acclaimed Walk the Line (2005), starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon, who won an Oscar for her role as June Carter. Since then he directed Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in the western drama 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise in the action comedy Knight and Day (2010). In 2008 he won a Distinguished Director/Producer Award from the Costume Designers Guild Awards.
His more recent work includes the action-packed X-Men film The Wolverine (2013) and the follow-up in the franchise Logan (2017).
For his latest big screen venture, Ford v Ferrari (2019), he recreated the iconic 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, a project that marked his reunion with Christian Bale.
James Mangold was married to producer Cathy Konrad from 1998 to 2014. They have two children together.
The Wolverine (2013)
Knight and Day (2010)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Walk the Line (2005)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Girl, Interrupted (2000)
Cop Land (1997)