Was raised by his mother and two sisters after his father abandoned the family.
Dropped out of high school and worked in a sporting-goods store before studying acting at the Greenwich Young People's Theatre.
At age 23, appeared in his first film, Remembrance (1981).
Thought up the stage name Laila Morse, an anagram of "mia sorella," the Italian words for "my sister," for his sibling Maureen Oldman. She made her film debut in 1997's Nil by Mouth, her brother's loosely autobiographical directorial debut.