Richard Lester (born 19 January 1932) is an American-born British-based film director notable for his work with The Beatles in the 1960s and his work on the Superman film series in the 1980s.
Lester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy, he began studies at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 15. He started in television in 1950, working as a stage hand, floor manager, assistant director, and then to director less than a year, because no one else was around that knew how to do the work. In 1953, Lester moved to London and began work as a director in independent television, working for the legendary low cost television producers The Danziger Brothers on episodes of Mark Saber, a half-hour detective series.
A variety show he produced caught the eye of Peter Sellers, who enlisted Lester's help in translating The Goon Show to television as The Idiot Weekly, Price 2d. It was a hit, as were two follow-up shows, A Show Called Fred and Son of Fred. Lester recalls that A Show Called Fred was "broadcast live and that's why I went into film directing where you can do a second take!"