Daniel Day-Lewis. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph: (Others)
The 60-year-old is the only male actor in history to win the best acting Oscar award three times
Daniel Day-Lewis, regarded as arguably the greatest actor of his generation, has announced his decision to quit acting.
Leslee Dart, the actor's spokesperson, said: "He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years.
This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject."
Day-Lewis, the only male in history to win the Oscar for best acting thrice, will see his last film release in December.
He also earned Oscar nods for two other movies.
The 60-year-old actor, who made his acting debut in 1971, was regarded as a great exponent of method acting and was notoriously selective about his roles.
Born to British poet Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon, he won the Oscars for "My Left Foot" (1989), in which he plays writer and artist Christy Brown, who was confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy; a second one for "There Will Be Blood" (2008), in which he plays a fierce oil man; and a third for the lead role in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" (2013).
Far from the madding crowd
His strong on-screen presence and remarkable range quickly set him apart, earning him praise from critics and audiences alike.
He was said to be so deeply invested in his roles that he would stay in character even when not shooting -- as was the case with "Gangs of New York," when he kept the New York accent and would be seen sharpening his knives at lunch.
He also reportedly listened to rapper Eminem to get into an angry mood for the role.
Apart from his Oscar performances, some of his most memorable other roles were in "My Beautiful Laundrette" (1985), "A Room With a View" (1985), "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (1988) and "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992).
But despite his stardom the actor shied away from the limelight, remaining throughout his career notoriously reclusive. He took long stretches of time away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to be with his family in Ireland and to learn "rural skills."
During one such period in the late 1990s, while learning to be a cobbler in Florence, Italy, he was reportedly lured back to the US by producer Harvey Weinstein, director Martin Scorcese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio to take on the lead role in "Gangs of New York."
"I was very happily out of the world of filmmaking," Day-Lewis said at the time. "I was just happily working away at other things."
In a sign that acting would not be his lifelong passion, he told a magazine in 2005: "In every actor's life, there is a moment when they ask themselves, 'Is it really seemly for me to still be doing this?'"
The actor is married to Rebecca Miller -- the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller -- a US actress and writer with whom he has two children.
From 1989 to 1994 he had a tumultuous relationship with French actress Isabelle Adjani, with whom he has one son.
(With inputs from AFP)