Top 20 Visionary Creators In This Business

by justt79623 | created - 07 Feb 2011 | updated - 10 Feb 2011 | Public

Feelings on the 20 most creative people to influence this industry.

1. Walt Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Flora Disney (née Call) and Elias Disney, a Canadian-born farmer and businessperson. He had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Walt moved with his parents to Kansas City at age seven, where he spent the majority of ...

The man who first took animation and revolutionized the way we look at movies through the silent, sound, and color eras all the way to practically inventing the animated feature with Snow White and The Seven Dwarves. He also deserves credit for his anthology TV series and his theme parks. Disney is both an innovator and a legend.

2. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

He is the main reason suspense thrillers remain so popular, and taught us there is more to crime stories than the just idea of solving a mystery. Hitchcock put his audience is in a position they never thought they would be in as viewers, much less one they would want to be in with their real lives.

3. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

His success with The War of The Worlds radio broadcast and the film Citizen Kane should say enough about his career. Orson Welles was a man who made up his own rules and thought outside the box. Even though it did taint his relationship with Hollywood and most of the major studios.

4. Agnes Nixon

Writer | All My Children

Agnes Nixon was born on December 10, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Agnes Eckhardt. She was a writer and actress, known for All My Children (1970), One Life to Live (1968) and Search for Tomorrow (1951). She was married to Robert Henry Nixon. She died on September 28, 2016 in Pennsylvania, USA.

Creator of All My Children and One Life To Live. She is just one of many representatives of the soap opera genre. A genre that has influenced primetime and cable to be more character driven ''saga'' like, as opposed its more conventional episodic or procedural format. Stretching the boundaries of what storytelling can do for television.

5. Jack Webb

Writer | Dragnet

John Randolph Webb was born in Santa Monica, California, to Margaret (Smith) and Samuel Chester Webb. His father left home before he was born; Webb would never know him. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother in dire poverty that preceded the Depression. Making things worse, Webb ...

The man who introduced crime drama and influenced many later shows, demonstrating the basics of episodic television and showing what this is all about. Despite Dragnet's now cliche status, it laid the basic fundamentals that most writers from television crime dramas and crime fiction in general.

6. Rod Serling

Writer | The Twilight Zone

John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's ...

A dramatist who got his start during the days of radio, and made his name in the early days of television with such works as Patters and Requiem For A Heavyweight. His magnum opus The Twilight Zone was one of the first instances of television's true ability to mix social commentary with science fiction and fantasy.

7. Gene Roddenberry

Writer | Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry was born on August 19, 1921 in El Paso, Texas, USA as Eugene Wesley Roddenberry. He was a writer and producer, known for Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He was married to Majel Barrett and Eileen Anita Rexroat. He ...

A WWII vet and LAPD officer who went onto create a science fiction phenomenon known as Star Trek. Despite its delayed success much later r, Roddenberry started this legacy with a vision of an optimistic future and diverse cast of characters. A legacy that continues to last over 45 years later.

8. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

For better or worse, he is the man who brought mythology to our modern audience with Star Wars and Indiana Jones. He remains one of the influential cinematic figures of all time, despite later tendencies to constantly revise and tinker with his previous films over and over during the past decade or so.

9. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

The most financially successful filmmaker of all time. Along with George Lucas, Spielberg helped make a science fiction and fantasy accessible to mainstream film. Yet he does not stop there, he also directed thrillers and Oscar winning dramas. In addition to producing many things for film and television, and even founded his own studio!

10. Ron Howard

Actor | Arrested Development

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.

Howard ...

He has directed and produced in an eclectic number of genres. So much that it has been hard for Hollywood to pigeonhole him into a single definition. Yet being an ex-child star, maybe this was the point. Yet it led him to an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind and commercial success for Apollo 13 and The DaVinci Code.

11. Bill Gates

Actor | Frasier

Born William Henry III is an American entrepreneur, business mogul, investor, philanthropist, and widely known as one of the most richest and influential people in the world. William Henry III was born to attorney, William Henry II and teacher, Mary Maxwell Gates in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Bill ...

Without him, none of us would have the type of software we have now. Computer programming and software would still be aimed at these large mainframe computers hidden in some factory not meant to be seen by anyone but the government and the military. Going against the grain like this is what made him a multi-billionaire.

12. Steve Jobs

Producer | Toy Story

Steven Paul Jobs was born on 24 February 1955 in San Francisco, California, to students Abdul Fattah Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble who were unmarried at the time and gave him up for adoption. He was taken in by a working class couple, Paul and Clara Jobs, and grew up with them in Mountain View...

Much like Microsoft, Apple Computers showed the American public that computers were not just for the government or the military, they could be appreciated by everyone. Innovators such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs made computers accessible to the home and for family. Plus former Apple division Pixar isn't doing too bad at the box office either.

13. Bob Gale

Writer | Back to the Future

Bob Gale is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter-producer-director, best known as co-creator, co-writer and co-producer of Back to the Future (1985) and its sequels. Gale was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Cinema from the University of Southern ...

One half of the duo that made the classic trilogy Back To The Future. As screenwriter, Bob Gale took the initial idea of a laser inside a refrigerator zapping Marty McFly into another time and transferred into a futuristic looking DeLorean. Making the old Jules Verne concept of time travel more appealing for a modern audience.

14. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

His initial successes with Romancing The Stone, the Back To Future trilogy, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Yet Zemeckis has gone on to a wide and varied career using computer animation to enhance serious dramas such as Forrest Gump and Cast Away. Along with veering computer animation entirely with films such as The Polar Express.

15. Stephen King

Writer | Maximum Overdrive

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name ...

The man who made the term ''bestseller'' a household word. Despite his recognition as ''horror'' writer, he has written suspense thrillers under the name ''Richard Bachman'' and has written short stories in the horror, thriller, and science fiction genres. Along with a fair amount of literary work and the fantasy based Dark Tower series, his true legacy.

16. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

This great director has taught us it is okay to make films that are eccentric, and has even made a lot of money doing it. Known for creating these elaborate fantasy worlds that dark and twisted, he is also known for collaborating with the equally eccentric Johnny Depp, a man he will work with once again in the upcoming Dark Shadows remake.

17. J.K. Rowling

Writer | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, near Bristol, a few miles south of a town called Dursley ("Harry Potter"'s Muggle-family). Her father Peter Rowling was an engineer for Rolls Royce in Bristol at this time. Her mother, Anne, was half-French and half-Scottish. They met on a train as it left King's ...

Despite her beginnings as a divorced single mother, she went onto create one of the most enduring characters of all time. After series of novels and film adaptations, along with theme park and a line of merchandise, Harry Potter has made her a multi-billionaire and even richer than The Queen of England.

18. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of TV producer parents. Abrams planned on going to dental school, but decided to study film at Sarah Lawrence College. At 15, he wrote the music for Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982). In his senior year, he and Jill ...

While he has been working his way up for the previous 20 years, LOST is what made him a household name. Now he is expanding his portfolio with the cult TV series Fringe, and directed the reboot of Star Trek, which became the franchise's highest grossing film since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

19. Jonathan Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, graduating in 1994.

Graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1999. Majored in English.

Shortly after graduating from Georgetown University, Jonathan Nolan served as a production assistant on Memento (2000).

Wrote the short story, "...

Mostly known for being a writer, his short story Momento Mori served as the basis for his brother's classic Momento.. Together, they have gone on to collaborate on the reboot of the Batman saga with its second film The Dark Knight becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time. Along with Inception, a film they conceived not long after Momento.

20. Christopher Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.


After the success of his indie film Momento and Insomnia, he was offered the chance to reboot the Batman franchise. One that was killed by the massive failure of Batman and Robin. Yet with the astonishment of the entire film industry and Batman fans alike, he revived the caped crusader with a stripped down, back to basics film style.