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Lee Tamahori, born 17 June 1950, is a New Zealandmarker filmmaker best-known for directing the 1994 film Once Were Warriors and the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day.

Upbringing and early career

Born Warren Lee Tamahori, in Wellingtonmarker, New Zealandmarker, he is of Māori ancestry on his father's side and of British ancestry on his mother's.

He attended Massey High Schoolmarker and began his career as a commercial artist and photographer,. He moved to the film industry in the late 1970s, initially getting in the door by working for nothing, then worked as a boom operator for Television New Zealand, and on 1978 feature Skin Deep, the classic Goodbye Pork Pie, and Bad Blood.

In the early 1980s Geoff Murphy employed him as an assistant director on Utu, and he subsequently worked as first assistant director on films like The Silent One, The Quiet Earth and Came a Hot Friday.He is also best known for directing the Sopranos a hit tv show which started in 1999.In 1986 Tamahori co-founded a commercial production company Flying Fish and made his name with a series of high-profile television commercials, including one awarded "Commercial of the Decade"


His break as a filmmaker came with Once Were Warriors (1994), a gritty depiction of urban Māori life that was phenomenally successful in New Zealand. He then moved to Hollywoodmarker and directed the period thriller Mulholland Falls (1996), although this was not received well critically or commercially. This was followed by the successful wilderness film The Edge (1997) and Die Another Day (2002), the twentieth James Bond movie. He also directed numerous episodes of television shows, in particular an episode of The Sopranos during its second season.

Tamahori's next film was the sequel to XXX (2002), titled XXX: State of the Union (2005) starring Ice Cube and Willem Dafoe; he replaced the original director, Rob Cohen.

His latest film is Next (2007), a science fiction action film based on The Golden Man, a short story by Philip K. Dick. The film starred Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel.

Personal life

On January 8, 2006, Tamahori, dressed as a woman, was arrested for allegedly offering an undercover police officer oral sex but convicted only of criminal trespass, having plead no contest in exchange for other charges being dropped.


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