Steven Spielberg biography

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Quick Facts

  • NAME: Steven Spielberg
  • OCCUPATION: Director, Producer
  • BIRTH DATE: December 18, 1946 (Age: 68)
  • Did You Know?: Steven Spielberg accepted no money for his work on Schindler's List, and instead donated his salary and all of his future profits from the movie to The Shoah Foundation.
  • Did You Know?: Steven Spielberg is the godfather of both Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius

Best Known For

Academy Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg's films include Jaws, The Color Purple and Schindler's List.

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Born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Steven Spielberg was an amateur filmmaker as a child. He went on to become the enormously successful and Academy Award-winning director of such films as Schindler's List, The Color Purple, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Saving Private Ryan. In 1994, he co-founded the studio Dreamworks SKG, which was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 2005.

Early Career

Filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio. An amateur filmmaker as a child, Steven Spielberg moved several times growing up and spent part of his youth in Arizona. He became one of the youngest television directors for Universal in the late 1960s. A highly praised television film, Duel (1972), brought him the opportunity to direct for the cinema, and a string of hits have made him the most commercially successful director of all time.

Career Highlights

His films have explored primeval fears, as in Jaws (1975), or expressed childlike wonder at the marvels of this world and beyond, as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and ET (1982). Spielberg has also tackled literary adaptations, such as The Color Purple (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987). And audiences around the world were riveted by the continuing adventures of his daredevil hero, Indiana Jones, in such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Imaginative fantasy is dominant in his version of Peter Pan, Hook (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), and its sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).

Spielberg is also known for his impressive historical films. The Holocaust drama Schindler's List (1993) starring Liam Neeson as a businessman who helps save Jews won seven Academy Awards, including Spielberg’s first win as Best Director. In 1998, he revisited World War II, this time from the perspective of American soldiers in Europe in Saving Private Ryan (1998), which earned him another Academy Award for Best Director. His first film company, Amblin Entertainment, which was founded in 1982, produced several other successful films, notably Back to the Future (1985) and its two sequels, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

Dreamworks Creation

In 1994 Spielberg formed a new studio, Dreamworks SKG with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. (It was later bought by Paramount Pictures in 2005.) In 2001 he completed the science fiction film AI: Artificial Intelligence, a project begun by Stanley Kubrick. Later films include the Academy Award-nominated Munich (2005). He also served as producer for the Clint Eastwood-directed World War II films, Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).

Spielberg reunited with George Lucas for the latest installment of the Indiana Jones saga in 2008. Spielberg directed the film, which featured Harrison Ford reprising his role as the famed adventurer in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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