Sir Sam Mendes backstage at the 2020 Baftas
Sir Sam Mendes paid sweet tribute to his wife and family after winning best director at the Baftas (Picture: WireImage)

It was a triumphant night for Sir Sam Mendes at the 2020 Baftas after his movie 1917 won a clutch of prizes including best film and best director.

The recently knighted filmmaker – who’s also tipped to win big at the Oscars – paid tribute to his family as he accepted the best director prize, thanking his children before paying touching tribute to his wife.

‘It’s moving to me to get this in my home town for the first time, to my beautiful children Joe and Phoebe…and especially to my inspiration, my beautiful wife Allie…this is for you, so thank you very much indeed.’

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Mendes wed current wife Alison Balsom, who is a trumpet soloist, producer, arranger and music educator, in 2017 – and she’s his second wife, with the director having previously been married to Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet.

Just when were the pair together? Here’s what you need to know…

When were Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet married?

Sir Sam Mendes and wife Alison Balsom at the 2020 Baftas
The newly knighted director is now married to Alison Balsom (Picture: WireImage)

Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet were married in 2003, two years after they first met – when Mendes approached the actress about starring in a play at the Donmar Warehouse, where he was artistic director at the time.

The actress later revealed that they tied the knot on a whim, while on holiday in Anguilla.

‘We hadn’t been planning to do it,’ she explained, ‘but we thought it was rather a good idea, so we just did it.’

Sam Mendes and stepson Charlie at the Baftas
Sam also gave thanks to his stepson Charlie who attended the Baftas (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

The marriage lasted seven years before the couple announced their split in 2010, eventually divorcing in 2011.

Sam Mendes with Kate Winslet at the Oscars in 2005
Mendes was with Winslet at the 2005 Oscars when she was nominated for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (Picture: AP)

Mendes went on to date actress Rebecca Hall for two years, splitting from her in 2013, before going on to wed Balsom.

Meanwhile Winslet – who prior to Mendes was married to filmmaker Jim Threapleton – is now married to Richard Branson’s nephew Edward Abel Smith (who was previously known as Ned Rocknroll).

Did Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet have children?

Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet at the Oscars in 2009
The couple at the 2009 Oscars after Winslet won best actress for The Reader (Picture: AP)

The couple are parents to a son, Joe, who was born in December 2003 – while Mendes was also stepfather to Mia, Winslet’s daughter from her first marriage, who is also an actress.

Mendes and Balsom are parents to daughter Phoebe, who was born in 2017.

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