Daniel Day-Lewis' best-known roles

PHOTO: Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, winner of the Best Actor award for "Lincoln," poses in the press room during the Oscars held at Loews Hollywood Hotel in this Feb. 24, 2013 file photo in Hollywood, Calif. PlayJason Merritt/Getty Images
WATCH Daniel Day-Lewis 'will no longer be working as an actor,' rep says

Fans shocked and saddened by the news that Daniel Day-Lewis has quit acting can at least take comfort in his vast body of work.

A rep for the 60-year-old actor made the surprise announcement on Tuesday that Day-Lewis was stepping away from the profession.

"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," his publicist, Leslee Dart, said in a statement. "This is a private decision, and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject."

It appears his final role will be in the upcoming "Phantom Thread," a drama directed by Paul Thomas Anderson that is set to premiere in December. Day-Lewis is also expected to do publicity for the film.

Nominated for five Academy Awards, Day-Lewis is the only man to win three best actor Oscars.

A method actor, he is known for the extreme lengths he went to in order to portray a character.

Here are some of his best-known roles and what he did to bring each role to life:


Day-Lewis last appeared on screen in his Oscar-winning turn as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's 2012 film "Lincoln." Throughout the shooting of the film, he reportedly remained in character, sending his co-star Sally Field a text message as Lincoln and asking the English cast members not to speak with him in their British accents.

'My Left Foot'

For his first Oscar-winning performance in 1989's "My Left Foot," Day-Lewis spent eight weeks visiting a cerebral palsy clinic to learn how to speak like his character and write and paint with his left foot. He also stayed in a wheelchair during filming and insisted that he be carried around and fed by crew members.

'There Will Be Blood'

Day-Lewis earned his second Oscar playing a ruthless oilman in Anderson's 2007 historical drama "There Will Be Blood." To prepare for the part, he listened to recordings of John Huston in order to create the voice of Daniel Plainview and he read books and letters from that time period.

'Gangs of New York'

In order to play gang leader William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting in "Gangs of New York," Day-Lewis took carving lessons from a butcher and knife-throwing lessons from circus performers. He also caught pneumonia after refusing to wear a warm coat because it wasn't in keeping with the period film. All the trouble he went to earned him an Academy Award nomination.

'The Last of the Mohicans'

To portray Hawkeye in Michael Mann's 1992 epic "The Last of the Mohicans," Day-Lewis learned to live off the land, tracking, hunting and skinning animals. He also carried his long rifle with him everywhere on set.

'In the Name of the Father'

Day-Lewis lost 30 pounds and spent nights in a prison cell in order to play Gerry Conlon, an Irishman who was wrongfully convicted of a pub bombing and spent more than a decade in prison. The film earned him an Academy Award nomination.

'The Age of Innocence'

To play Newland Archer in Martin Scorsese's 1993 adaptation of "The Age of Innocence," Day-Lewis spent months walking around New York City with a top hat, cape and cane typical of his character's aristocratic clothing.

'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'

Day-Lewis learned to speak Czech to play a Czech surgeon in 1987's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being."

'My Beautiful Laundrette'

Day-Lewis gave his first critically acclaimed performance playing a gay street punk in an interracial relationship in 1985's "My Beautiful Laundrette." To convince director Stephen Frears to hire him, he wrote him a letter in the voice of his character, threatening to break his legs if he didn't get the part.

'The Crucible'

To play the Salem witch trials' John Procter in the film version of Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible," Day-Lewis spent a month before filming helping the carpenters build the set. He also reportedly didn't bathe for the entire shoot in keeping with 17th century standards.