Saving Private Ryan
A living legend in the world of moviemaking, Steven Spielberg has astounded audiences with numerous award-winning films. He has earned his fame for movies such as the Holocaust-set Schindler’s List (1993, took home two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award) and the World War II story Saving Private Ryan (1998, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award), the sci-fi E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, brought home 4 Best Director awards, 4 Best Foreign Film awards and 2 Oscar nominations) and Jurassic Park (1993, netted a Saturn Award and a Czech Lions Award).
Working with animated films, Spielberg stood proud with “Tiny Toon Adventures” (1990-1992, nabbed two Daytime Emmy Awards), “Freakazoid” (1995-1997, won a third Daytime Emmy Award), “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-1998, netted another Daytime Emmy Award) and the special program A Pinky & the Brain Christmas Special (1995, took home an Emmy Award). During his long career, the blockbuster creator has been garnered with various honor awards, including an Oscar’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (1987) and a Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2000).
Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment, in 1984. Ten years later, with David Geffen and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, Spielberg founded the multimedia entertainment company DreamWorks SKG. Outside the studio spotlight, Spielberg is a founding member and Vice President of the Artists Rights Foundation. He also formed the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation to gather Holocaust testimonials and invested in the CD-ROM company Knowledge Adventure. Spielberg, who in 2003 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was named the 2005 Forbes’ “The Highest Earning Celebrity in the World.”
With his charity organization, the Righteous Person Foundation, the moviemaker will donate $1,000,000 for relief efforts in Israel to the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Israel Crisis Fund, the New Israel Fund and other relief organizations in Israel. As a Democrat, Spielberg recently announced his support for Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) for a re-election campaign.
On a more private note, Spielberg was once married to actress Amy Irving (1985-1989, has a son). Now, he is married to Kate Capshaw, with whom he has two daughters and a son. He is also the father of two adopted children and a stepdaughter, actress Jessica Capshaw.
Escape to Nowhere
Childhood and Family:
Steven Allan Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Arnold Spielberg and Leah Adler. He is the brother of screenwriter/producer Anne Spielberg (born on December 25, 1949), Nancy Spielberg and Sue Spielberg. His parents divorced and later remarried.
Steven, who had an ardent passion for movies, made his first film at age 12. A year later, he won a prize for his 40-minute war movie, Escape to Nowhere, and eventually had a local theater screening with his 140-minute production of Firelight (1963). Graduating from Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Steven took an English program at the California State University in Long Beach after previously being rejected by traditional film schools.
On November 27, 1985, Steven married actress Amy Irving (born on September 10, 1953), with whom he has a son, Max Spielberg (born in June 1985). Four years later, the couple divorced and Steven later married actress Kate Capshaw (born on November 3, 1953), on October 12, 1991. From the marriage, he has two daughters (Sasha Spielberg and Destry Allyn Spielberg) and a son (Sawyer Spielberg). He is also the father of two adopted children (Theo Spielberg and Mikaela George Spielberg) and a stepdaughter (actress Jessica Capshaw, born in 1976).
At age 22, Steven Spielberg had his professional debut with the 24-minute Amblin’ (1968), after previously making the unfinished Slipstream (1967). With the budget of $15,000, Amblin’ was screened at the Atlanta Film Festival in 1969 and brought in a 7-year deal with the Television division of Universal-MCA Studio. He then began his TV work by directing the “Eyes” segment of the supernatural thriller Night Gallery (1969, TV), as well as an episodic directing effort for several series, including “Marcus Welby, M.D.” (1970) and “The Psychiatrist” (1971).
Spielberg quickly caught attention with the suspense-filled TV film Duel (1971), which won an Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival’s Grand Prize. Next, in his horror TV movie Something Evil (1972), the young director also appeared on screen, playing a role. He also wrote the story of Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (1973) before taking home a Cannes Film Festival for Best Screenplay for his story in the crime drama The Sugarland Express (1974).
The director scored blockbuster success with the legendary thriller Jaws (1975, also voiced an Amity Point Lifestation Worker, unaccredited), which was his first collaboration with actor Richard Dreyfuss. Gaining even more success, his next teamwork with Dreyfuss was in the blockbuster hit UFO movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977, also worked on visual effects concepts), which handed him a Saturn for Best Director and brought him an Oscar Best Director nomination.
Yet, after executive producing the family comedy I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Spielberg failed to impress his audiences with the comedy 1941 (1979). He then made a cameo appearance as the Cook County Assessor’s office clerk in The Blues Brothers (1980), directed by John Landis.
His 1979 flop was eventually paid off with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), co-written by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, in which he collected such awards as an American Movie Marquee, a Boston Society of Film Critics, a ShoWest and a Saturn for Best Director. He also won a Kinema Junpo’s Readers’ Choice award for Best Foreign Language Film and a second Oscar Best Director nomination. Following the victory, Spielberg wrote and produced the horror thriller Poltergeist (1982).
Spielberg’s fame soared even higher thanks to his impressive directing in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, also co-produced), which pulled in $399 million during its initial release alone. Aside from the commercial success, the movie harvested Best Director awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. Also, Spielberg took home a PGA Golden Laurel Hall of Fame award, a David di Donatello for Best Director in Foreign Film, as well as a Blue Ribbon, a Fotogramas de Plata, and two Kinema Junpo awards for Best Foreign Film. In addition, E.T. brought him two Oscar nominations (one for Best Director, one for Best Picture). Later, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, E.T. was re-released with minor changes and enhanced digital effects (2002).
Subsequent to Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) and the sequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Spielberg revived Alice Walker’s novel in The Color Purple (1985), and netted a Directors Guild of America award and an Oscar Best Picture nomination. Also in 1985, his self-produced sci-fi adventure movie Back to the Future nabbed a David di Donatello for Best Producer. His first producing task for an animated film in An American Tail (1986) was followed with his victorious war drama Empire of the Sun (1987, won a National Board of Review for Best Director). As the executive producer of the drama comedy Dad (1989), Spielberg was given a Retirement Research Foundation Wise Owl award.
The next year, he developed the TV series about the new generation of Looney Tunes characters, “Tiny Toon Adventures” (1990-1992) and became a two-time winner of Daytime Emmy’s Outstanding Animated Program. In appreciation for his previous accomplishments, Spielberg received numerous awards, including a Hasty Pudding Theatricals Man of the Year (1983), a Giffoni Film Festival Nocciola d’Oro (1984), an Oscar’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial award (1987), an American Cinematheque Gala Tribute’s American Cinematheque award (1989), an American Cinema Editors’ Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award (1990), a Venice Film Festival’s Career Golden Lion (1993), a Young Artist’s Jackie Coogan award (1994), an American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of the Governors award (1994) and a ShoWest award for Director of the Year (1994).
Spielberg then helmed Hook (1991) and co-hosted (with his wife) the documentary film Shattered Lullabies (1992), before making headlines with the heart-wrenching Schindler’s List (1993), for which he swept up two Oscars, a Golden Globe, two BAFTA awards, a Directors Guild of America award, a Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association award, a National Society of Film Critics award, a Chicago Film Critics Association award, a PGA Golden Laurel, a London Critics Circle Film award and an Amanda award (Norway) for his efforts. He also forged the adventure dinosaur movie genre with Jurassic Park (1993), which even out-preformed E.T. and garnered him a Saturn for Best Director and a Czech Lions for Best Foreign Language Film.
The award-winning filmmaker was applauded for his involvement as an executive producer in the animated series “Freakazoid” (1995-1997, won a Daytime Emmy), “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-1998, netted a Daytime Emmy) and the cartoon special program A Pinky & the Brain Christmas Special (1995, took home an Emmy). He also proved his skill in directing in the sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, received a Rembrandt’s Audience award) and the controversial legal drama Amistad (1997, received a PGA Golden Laurel Vision award).
Once again, Spielberg became a phenomenon after directing the WWII drama Saving Private Ryan (1998), which starred Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Matt Damon, and other Hollywood big names. Awards handed Spielberg for the film included an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Directors Guild of America award for Best Director. Spielberg, who in 1995 was granted an American Film Institute Life Achievement award and a César Honorary award, received another Daytime Emmy for the spin-off animated series “Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain” (1998, executive produced).
After helming the short documentary The Unfinished Journey (1999), Spielberg stood proud with Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001, won a Saturn and a Venice Film Festival award), his self-directed and written sci-fi movie based on the story by late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. He then resumed his association with Tom Hanks, this time as a director, in the WWII-set miniseries “Band of Brothers” (2001) and picked up an Emmy and a PGA Golden Laurel.
2002 saw the moviemaker direct Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell in the futuristic thriller Minority Report (nabbed a Saturn and an Empire award), tell the story of fraud Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can (won a Broadcast Film Critics Association award) and executive produce the hit Sci-Fi Channel miniseries “Taken” (took home an Emmy). Two years later, Spielberg and Hanks carried on their alliance with the comedy drama The Terminal (2004). It was followed by his Oscar-nominated directing work in the historical drama Munich (2005, also earned a Golden Globe and a Directors Guild of America nomination).
The executive producer recently released Monster House (2006) and is also known as the creator of the epic video game franchise Medal of Honor (game was first created in 1999). Adding to the list of his acknowledgments, Spielberg was awarded a PGA Golden Laurel: Milestone award (1999), a Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement award (2000), an Image Vanguard award (2000), a National Board of Review’s Billy Wilder award (2001), a BAFTA/LA Britannia’s Excellence in Film (2001), a Showest Convention Lifetime Achievement award (2002) and a David di Donatello’s special award (2004) for his efforts.
Currently, the distinguished director has a number of screen projects underway. He will produce such upcoming films as Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), the miniseries “The Pacific War” (2006), an untitled Ukrainian Holocaust project (2006), Disturbia (2007), Transformers (2007), the reality show “On the Lot” (2007), the miniseries “Nine Lives” (2007), Lincoln (2008, also directed), When Worlds Collide (2008), the sequel Jurassic Park IV (2008), The Talisman (2008) and Interstellar (2009, also directed). Amid his tasks in producing, Spielberg will also helm the sequel Indiana Jones 4 (2008).