July 19, 2024

Emmy-winning ‘Band of Brothers’ director David Leland dead at 82


Award-winning film director David Leland, who helmed an Emmy-winning episode of HBO’s “Band of Brothers,” and worked with A-listers including Pierce Brosnan, Tim Roth and George Harrison, has died at the age of 82.

He passed away Christmas Eve surrounded by his family.

British-born Leland also worked with “Monty Python” stars Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam and co-wrote the Oscar-nominated 1986 movie “Mona Lisa” with Neil Jordan.

He was also an actor and trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama before co-founding the Drama Centre London and stage-managing the Crucible Theatre.

Leland gave Pierce Brosnan his start in the Tennessee Williams play “The Red Devil Battery Sign.”

David Leland on the set of “Virgin Territory” in Italy in 2007. Getty Images
Bob Hoskins and Cathy Tyson in the Oscar-nominated 1986 movie “Mona Lisa,” which was co-written by Leland. ©Island Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

“David Leland holds a might place in my heart,” Brosnan told The Sun. “I was just out of Drama Centre where David was also an alumni. It was the thrill of my young lifetime to be cast as McCabe, working with David and Tennessee.

“David will forever be an essential part of my story and of all who knew and loved him.”

Leland also directed Liam Neeson in the movie “The Big Man” and “Land Girls” with Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel and wrote and directed the 1987 movie “Wish You Were Here,” starring Emily Lloyd, for which he won a BAFTA.

Emily Lloyd in the 1987 BAFTA-winning movie “Wish You Were Here,” written and directed by David Leland. ©Atlantic Releasing Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

He also wrote and directed the 2007 romantic comedy “Virgin Territory,” starring Mischa Barton.

Leland was a good friend of ex-Beatle Harrison and directed the “Concert for George,” a celebration of Harrison’s life held at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2022, a year after Harrison’s death.

Mischa Barton in “Virgin Territory” (2007), a romantic comedy co-starring Tim Roth. ©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

He launched the career of actor Tim Roth by casting him in his 1982 ITV play “Made in Britain.”

“David was there at the very beginning of this crazy adventure,” Roth told The Sun.

“He changed my life and I love him for it. I’ll keep him with me always.”

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