Steven Spielberg Biography (1947-)

Steven Spielberg, , . Born on December 18, 1947, in Cincinnati, Ohio. An amateur filmmaker as a child, 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 of all time.

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).

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). There are also rumors circulating about Spielberg working on another Indiana Jones film.

Along with his three Academy Award wins, Spielberg has received many other honors during his distinguished career. He received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1986. In 2004 Spielberg received the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and the French Legion of Honor in recognition of his work. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005.

Married twice, Steven Spielberg has a son from his first marriage to actress Amy Irving. He has five children and two stepchildren with current wife Kate Capshaw.

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