Date of Birth: December 18, 1946
"I've never been through psychoanalysis," Steven Spielberg once said. "I solve
my problems with the pictures I make."
Judging by his success as a filmmaker and the number of films he has made, Spielberg
must either have a lot of problems to solve or, like a lot of people in analysis, just
likes the process of solving them.
Spielberg has created some of the world's most memorable, endearing, and heartwrenching
films, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Color Purple and
Schindler's List. Like the Great White shark he brought to the screen in Jaws,
Spielberg seems to never stop moving and has a voracious appetite for hit movieshis own.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Spielberg made his first 8mm
film when he was only 12 years old. A year later he won a contest for a 40-minute film
he created called Escape to Nowhere and at 16, he directed a 140-minute film titled
Firelight. While attending Long Beach State University, Spielberg went on to make a
short film called Amblin which led to his getting a contract at Universal Studios at
the young age of 20.
During his Universal contract he started directing television shows and also made an
award-winning TV movie called Duel before getting his first feature film assignment
at the helm of 1974's The Sugarland Express.
Both Duel and Sugarland were auspicious debuts for the young filmmaker who has said,
"I'd rather direct than produce any dayand twice on Sunday." But what lay
ahead would prove to be even more remarkable as the real genius of the Spielberg touch
announced itself in 1974 when he was given the assignment to direct a little film about
a fish terrorizing the beaches of a fictitious town called Amityville. The movie was
called Jaws and it became one of the biggest box office blockbusters of all time.
Next came such classics as the three Indiana Jones movies. Then he brought over 200 million
people around the world into theaters to see E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. In 1982,
the year E.T. was released, the lovable alien with the magic touch was even one of the
four runners-up for Time magazine's Man of the Year.
Jurassic Park was Spielberg's 14th feature film as a director, a film he referred to as
"Jaws 2, it's Land Shark." He followed up that mega-monster of a movie with the quieter,
more emotionally wrenching film, Schindler's List, the story of Oscar Schindler, a
German industrialist who made a "list" of the Jews he wanted to work in his factory,
thus saving them from the Nazi death camps. The film won both best director and best picture for Spielberg.
In the late 1990s he would join forces with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to create a
multi-media company called DreamWorks SKG. In 1999, he won another Best Director Oscar for Saving Private Ryan (1998), then in 2006 received a Best Achievement in Directing and Best Picture nods at the 78th Academy Awards for Munich (2005).
A few years before making Schindler's List, Spielberg bought a small child's sleigh
called "Rosebud." The sleigh was the one used in what many agree is the greatest movie
ever madeCitizen Kane. Spielberg, who paid $20,000 for the sleigh, said: "Rosebud will
go over my typewriter to remind me that quality in movies comes first."
Spielberg has since continued to create box office hits, such as the big screen adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and the biographical drama Lincoln (2012), which received 12 Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Director for Spielberg.
Spielberg was once married to Amy Irving and is now married to Kate Capshaw. His children
include Max (with Irving); Sasha, Sawyer, Theo, Mikaela (adopted), Jessica (stepdaughter) and Destry Allynall with Capshaw. His goddaughter is Drew Barrymore.
The Adventures of Tintin
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2008)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
War of the Worlds
Catch Me If You Can
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: The 20th Anniversary
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
The Unfinished Journey (1999)
Saving Private Ryan
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
The Visionary (1990)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The Color Purple (1985)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) (segment 2)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Poltergeist (1982) (uncredited)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Sugarland Express (1974)
Battle Squad (1961)
Escape to Nowhere (1961)
The Last Gun (1959)