|Profession||Motion picture director and producer|
|Years active||1983 to present|
|Role|| Supervising Producer|
|Seasons||1, 2, & 15|
|First episode||"Day One"|
|Last episode||"A Long Strange Trip"|
|Credits||30 episodes (see below)|
Leder was born in New York City in 1952, the daughter of Etyl, a classical pianist, and Paul Leder, a director, producer, actor, writer, and editor. Mimi was raised in Los Angeles, in a Jewish home. During childhood, her dad, a low-budget independent filmmaker, introduced Mimi and her siblings to film production. Having worked for the majority of her life in film gave her the skill and confidence to be the first woman accepted into the American Film Institute. She studied cinematography but enjoyed working with actors and telling stories.
Leder began her career as a script supervisor on a string of films, including Spawn of the Slithis (1978), Dummy (1979), The Boy Who Drank Too Much (1980), and A Long Way Home (1980), before moving on to the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981). After making a short film, Short Order Dreams, written and funded by her father Paul, she screened it for Steven Bochco, creator of Hill Street Blues, and his friend Gregory Hoblit who hired her to direct an episode of L.A. Law.
In 1988 Leder went on to direct episodes of Crime Story, The Bronx Zoo, and Midnight Caller, before getting hired to direct several episodes of China Beach (1988-91) for which she was nominated for four Emmys. She directed the made-for-TV films, Woman with a Past (1992), House of Secrets (1993), and Baby Brokers (1994).
She was hired as one of the core directors for ER (1994-2009) for the show's first season. She joined the crew as a Supervising Producer from the second episode "Day One" onwards. She also directed "Day One". She made proficient use of her cinematography background and the Steadicam to create high energy scenes that moved around the corridors and rooms of the hospital. She directed the fourth episode "Hit and Run" and the tenth episode "Blizzard". She was promoted to Co-Executive Producer from the sixteenth episode "Make of Two Hearts" onwards. She also directed "Make of Two Hearts". She directed then nineteenth episode "Love's Labor Lost" and the season finale "Everything Old Is New Again".
She returned as a Co-Executive Producer for the second season in fall 1995 and helmed the season premiere "Welcome Back Carter!". She left the production staff after the fourth episode "What Life?" because she received a job offer from Steven Spielberg as director of the film The Peacemaker (1997). She continued to direct episodes of ER while overseeing the pre-production of the film. She helmed the sixth episode "Days Like This", the tenth episode "A Miracle Happens Here", and the sixteenth episode "The Healers".
The Peacemaker is an action-adventure film starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. Leder sees it as a drama. Leder became one of only a handful of woman directors to break into the action genre, and her assignment to this film generated much press about the opportunities for women directors in Hollywood. She studied trains and other visual effects to prepare herself for the film and is proud of the results.
Continuing to work for Spielberg's DreamWorks, she directed Deep Impact (1998) and Pay It Forward (2000) while simultaneously creating a personal love story about her parents, Sentimental Journey (1999). Since then, Leder has been moving back and forth between television and film, executive producing and/or directing such television series as The Beast (2001), John Doe (2002), Johnny Zero (2004), and Vanished (2006). She returned to ER to direct the episode "A Long Strange Trip" during the series final season in 2009. She helmed 11 episodes of the series across its run. She directed the films or made-for-TV movies such as Thick as Thieves (2009), U.S. Attorney (2009), and Heavenly (2011).
Leder has one daughter, Hannah, with husband Gary Werntz.
- Season 1 - "Day One", "Hit and Run", "Blizzard", "Make of Two Hearts", "Love's Labor Lost", and "Everything Old Is New Again".
- Season 2 - "Welcome Back Carter!", "Days Like This", "A Miracle Happens Here", and "The Healers".
- Season 15 - "A Long Strange Trip".
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