Contains great creators, producers, directors, writers, composers, musicians, dancers, actors, SFX people, comedians, and innovators.
These are not in order yet.
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 his childhood...
“ Genius of animation, filmmaker, producer, and creator of family entertainment. ” - smith-d-c
Jim Henson never thought that he would make a name of himself in puppetry; it was merely a way of getting himself on television. The vehicle that achieved it was Sam and Friends
, a late-night puppet show that was on after the 11:00 news in Washington DC. It proved to be very popular and inspired Jim to continue using puppets for his work...
“ Genius of puppetry and producer/creator/ and visionary for a better world through wonderful, anthropomorphic characters. ” - smith-d-c
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, California...
“ R.I.P. genius of the 21st century technology. ” - smith-d-c
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer...
“ Genius producer/director/writer and film mogul. ” - smith-d-c
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
“ Genius producer/director/screenplay adaptor ” - smith-d-c
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 seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Genius Actor/Director/Writer/Producer of stage, radio, and screen. ” - smith-d-c
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 Cross Station in London...
“ Genius author of Harry Potter books. ” - smith-d-c
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 editing of the pilot-- it was cut from 52 to 45 minutes to fit into a 90 minute time slot...
“ Genius writer and creator of The Twilight Zone. ” - smith-d-c
“ Genius creator of Star Trek ” - smith-d-c
Known best as the record producer for The Beatles
, George Martin had a long and varied musical career, and continues to enjoy a rare reputation as one of popular music's true "nice guys." Martin was born into a working-class family in Drayton Park, England, on 3 January 1926. His classical music...
“ Producer/Manager/Composer - The Beatles, America, and other bands. ” - smith-d-c
Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," largest paid audience for a solo concert (350,000+ people...
“ Brilliant singer/songwriter/composer for The Beatles and Wings. ” - smith-d-c
Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson
and Gentle Giant...
“ Genius singer/songwriter/musician/producer of the past 40yrs. ” - smith-d-c
Charles Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years...
“ Genius Actor/Director/Writer/Composer of silent cinema. ” - smith-d-c
The bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wise-cracker with the painted-on moustache and stooped walk was the leader of The Marx Brothers
. With one-liners that were often double entendres, Groucho never cursed in any of his performances and said he never wanted to be known as a dirty comic. With a great love of music and singing (The Marx Brothers
started as a singing group)...
“ Genius comedian and author of the wisecracks. ” - smith-d-c
Jerry Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Betty (Hesney) and Kalman Seinfeld. His father was of Hungarian Jewish descent, while Jerry's maternal grandparents, Salha and Selim Hosni, were Syrian Jewish immigrants (from Aleppo). He moved with his family, including sister Carolyn, to suburban Massepequa...
“ Brilliant comedian and creator/writer for Seinfeld ” - smith-d-c
“ Brilliant writer/creator for Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm ” - smith-d-c
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
“ Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Comedian - genius. ” - smith-d-c
“ Pixar genius ” - smith-d-c
“ The genius of film make-up ” - smith-d-c
As one of the best known, awarded, and financially successful composers in US history, John Williams is as easy to recall as John Philip Sousa
, Aaron Copland
or Leonard Bernstein
, illustrating why he is "America's composer" time and again. With a massive list of awards that includes over 41 Oscar nominations (five wins)...
“ The greatest film composer of my lifetime. ” - smith-d-c
Born and raised in Bellflower, California, Chris Carter graduated from the California State University at Long Beach with a degree in journalism. Formerly a freelance journalist and editor of "Surfing" magazine, Carter began his career as a screenwriter in 1985 at The Walt Disney Studios. In 1992 Carter began developing projects for Twentieth Century Fox Television...
“ Creator/Writer The X Files ” - smith-d-c
“ Genius writer for Lost (and later Star Trek) ” - smith-d-c
Born in Mexico City, Carlton Cuse grew up in Boston and Orange County, California. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a degree in American History. He started his career in feature films working first as a development executive then formed a partnership with feature writer, Jeffrey Boam...
“ Genius writer for Lost ” - smith-d-c
“ Producer/Writer/Creator of Saturday Night Live ” - smith-d-c
Producer, songwriter and author, brother to Ralph Freed
, Walter and Ruth Freed. He was educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy, and became associated with Gus Edwards
musical acts. He performed in vaudeville with Louis Silvers
, with whom he wrote revues for New York restaurants. During World War I...
“ Producer/Composer of Hollywood's greatest musicals ” - smith-d-c
Bono was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland on May 10, 1960, to Iris (Rankin) and Brendan Robert Hewson. He has been the lead singer of the rock band U2
since 1976. U2
has won 22 Grammy Awards to date, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Lauded by fans and critics as an outstanding performer and songwriter...
“ Producer/Musician/Philanthropist/Composer genius ” - smith-d-c
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
“ Producer/Director/Writer/Actor/Comedian - genius of Belly-laugh comedies. ” - smith-d-c
Mel Blanc, known as "The Man of Thousand Voices" is regarded as the most prolific actor to ever work in Hollywood with over a thousand screen credits. He developed and performed nearly 400 distinct character voices with precision and a uniquely expressive vocal range. The legendary specialist from radio programs...
“ Master of a 1000 voices for cartoons. ” - smith-d-c
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition...
“ Director/Producer/Writer/SFX expert - Leader of the sci-fi action genre and filmmaking genius. ” - smith-d-c
Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA as Stephen Glenn Martin to Mary Lee (née Stewart; 1913-2002) and Glenn Vernon Martin (1914-1997), a real estate salesman and aspiring actor. He was raised in Inglewood and Garden Grove in California. In 1960, he got a job at the Magic shop of Disney's Fantasyland...
“ Actor/Artist/Comedian/Writer/Musician/Magician - Genius of comedy ” - smith-d-c
“ Writer/Creator of The Office and Parks and Recreation ” - smith-d-c
Conan O'Brien grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in Massachusetts. At an early age, he began a love of comedy and goofing off, this carried on when he entered the prestigious Harvard University, acting out many pranks in his time, as well as become the president of the Harvard humor magazine...
“ Late night talk show writer and genius ” - smith-d-c
Television would never be the same after David Letterman made his second attempt at a television show in 1982. But his career before becoming host of the show was quite an interesting and long one. Letterman was born in Broad Ripple, a neighborhood in Indianapolis. His childhood was relatively unremarkable...
“ Late night talk show genius of acerbic wit and "stupid" entertainment. ” - smith-d-c
The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
“ Italian self-indulgent genius of film ” - smith-d-c
After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata
. Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater creative freedom...
“ Japanese directing genius - huge influence in modern westerns ” - smith-d-c
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July fourteenth, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions
is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions
is the trilogy closed. Here...
“ Bleak Swedish writer/director genius ” - smith-d-c
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 especially fond of films with Vincent Price
“ Visual director and producer of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. ” - smith-d-c
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota near Medicine Lake. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of Mad magazine. In his early 20's he was often stopped by the police who often suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising....
“ Visual Director of dystopia, surrealism, and medevial legend. ” - smith-d-c
Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course...
“ Actor/Author/Comedian/Producer - genius of family-oriented storytelling stand up comedy ” - smith-d-c
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier
in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949...
“ Genius Method Actor ” - smith-d-c
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 Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ Master of the Macabre ” - smith-d-c
Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in Hollywood when Gene Kelly arrived in town in 1941...
“ Dancer/Actor/Producer/Director/Choreographer - A film legend and genius of the Hollywood Musical. ” - smith-d-c
Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon
and Zack Whedon
. Both his father, Tom Whedon
and his grandfather, John Whedon
were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon...
“ Producer/Creator/Writer of Buffy, Firefly, and many other TV shows. ” - smith-d-c
François began to assiduously go to the movies at 7. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin
, a French critic, who becomes his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army...
“ Brilliant French Producer/Director/Writer of the 1960s-1970s ” - smith-d-c
The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who conducted his business in the fashionable Rue de Castellane and had taken a Dutch-Italian woman...
“ Mime artist/Actor/Director - French silent (in modern era) pantomime genius of cinema. ” - smith-d-c
Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future director Jennifer Lynch
shortly after he turned 21...
“ Director/producer/creator/writer - king of the "weird" cinema. ” - smith-d-c
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
“ Producer/director/composer/editor - horror making genius ” - smith-d-c
Born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, Richard Burton Matheson first became a published author while still a child, when his stories and poems ran in the "Brooklyn Eagle". A lifelong reader of fantasy tales, he made his professional writing bow in 1950 when his short story "Born of Man and Woman"...
“ brilliant sci-fi writer and creator ” - smith-d-c
Comedian, actor, composer and conductor, educated in New York public schools. He was a master of ceremonies in amateur shows, a carnival barker, daredevil driver and a disc jockey., and later a comedian in night clubs. By the mid-1950s he had turned to writing original music and recording a series of popular and best-selling albums with his orchestra for Capitol Records...
“ Actor/composer/producer/creator/writer/comedian - extraordinary talent and star of The Honeymooners ” - smith-d-c
Educated St Paul's School & Trinity College, Cambridge. Worked in Aquisitions Dept. of New York Public Library and for music publisher Boosey & Hawkes before finding fame as playwright.
“ genius writer of Equus, and Amadeus ” - smith-d-c
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery. Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in Grand Junction...
“ Blacklisted writing genius ” - smith-d-c
One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could ever be," Capra said about his Atlantic passage...
“ Producer/Director/early gag writer - genius of the everyman feel-good films. ” - smith-d-c
Joseph Frank Keaton, was born in Piqua, Kansas, October 4, 1895 to Joe Keaton
and Myra Keaton
. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend...
“ Actor/director/stuntman - silent comedy star genius ” - smith-d-c
“ British writer/director/producer genius of Blackadder, Four Weddings and A Funeral, The Vicar of Dibley, and Not the Nine O'Clock News. ” - smith-d-c
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards--the final straw came when he submitted...
“ Author/Creator/Director/Producer - the cautionary sci-fi and medical show genius (created E.R.) ” - smith-d-c
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz ye de Acha the Third was born in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917. His father was the mayor of Santiago. The 1933 revolution led by Fulgencio Batista
had landed his father in jail and stripped the family of its wealth, property and power. His father was released because of the intercession of U.S...
“ TV producer and innovator - 3 camera sitcom was his idea, as well as many other technological innovations. ” - smith-d-c
Norman Lear is a World War II veteran, actor, writer, producer, director, and creator of such legendary sitcoms like All In The Family, Good Times, Sanford And Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, and many other sitcoms that defined and revolutionized American television. Norman Milton Lear was born in New Haven...
“ Producer/Writer - created all socially relevant sitcoms of the 1970s. ” - smith-d-c
“ Producer/Director/Creator/Writer/Actor - created some of the greatest 1970s sitcoms ” - smith-d-c
Born in Mt. Vernon, New York, and raised in New Jersey, David Chase (born David DeCesare) dreamed of being a star--a star drummer in a rock band! He spent many years playing drums and bass trying to be part of a successful rock band in the 1960s East Coast music scene. He also loved movies, such as The Public Enemy
with James Cagney
and TV shows like The Untouchables
with Robert Stack
“ Writer/Creator The Sopranos ” - smith-d-c
The man behind the low woodwinds that open Citizen Kane
, the shrieking violins of Psycho
, and the plaintive saxophone of Taxi Driver
was one of the most original and distinctive composers ever to work in film. He started early, winning a composition prize at the age of 13 and founding his own orchestra at the age of 20...
“ Psychological film composing genius ” - smith-d-c
Albert R. Broccoli
Albert Romolo Broccoli was born in Astoria, Queens (New York City) on April 5th, 1909. His mother and father, Cristina and Giovanni Broccoli, raised young Albert in New York on the family farm. The family was in the vegetable business, and Albert claimed one of his uncles brought the first broccoli seeds into the United States in the 1870's...
“ Producer of James Bond films ” - smith-d-c
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola
, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola
(née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University...
“ Writer/Director/winemaker visual film artist ” - smith-d-c
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese
(née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese
, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films...
“ Directing genius ” - smith-d-c
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 Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
“ One of the greatest storytellers on film (as long as he doesn't write the screenplay). A great innovative man in special effects. ” - smith-d-c
Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino
, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old. In January of 1992...
“ Profane language, violence loving, pop-culture invoking, modern genius of film. ” - smith-d-c
Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, non-fiction author. Born in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, began his career as a novelist in 1957. Started writing screenplays in 1965 with "Masquerade". A two-time Academy Award Winner, he is one of the most successful screenwriters and script doctors in Hollywood.
“ Author/Writer of classics Butch Cassidy and The Princess Bride ” - smith-d-c
“ Creator of Marvel Comics: Spiderman, X Men, The Hulk, etc. ” - smith-d-c
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon transferred NYU to study film...
“ Weird writing genius. ” - smith-d-c
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry included English...
“ Director/Writer/Actor - created some the greatest films ever. ” - smith-d-c
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney
and George Harrison
, later became The Beatles
“ Rock music genius of The Beatles ” - smith-d-c
“ Rock music genius of Pink Floyd ” - smith-d-c
Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire
. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. Signed to RKO...
“ Dancer extraordinaire - on screen, stage, and in life. ” - smith-d-c
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War hero. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually mold his black-and-white view of human existence and history...
“ Director/Producer - 1st cinema storyteller, innovative style ” - smith-d-c
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 "King"...
“ Horror writing genius ” - smith-d-c
“ Writer/Director/Creator - Lost, Fringe, Alias, and New Star Trek ” - smith-d-c
Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as a key influence on their careers...
“ Genius comedian ” - smith-d-c
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson
, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson
(née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together...
“ Musical and dancing genius ” - smith-d-c
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare
's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett
, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a great-great-grandfather who was of French Huguenot origin...
“ Actor/Director brought Shakespeare to film screens. ” - smith-d-c
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter born in 1930, and Frances (Harper) Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother, William Branagh Jr., was born in 1955 and sister, Joyce Branagh
, was born in 1970...
“ Actor/Director who brought Shakespeare back to cinemas with more style than ever. ” - smith-d-c
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento
and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other family members...
“ Director/Writer of Giallo Horror movies. ” - smith-d-c
Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a total of three days as an engineer at US Electrical Motors...
“ Producer/Director/writer - Casting genious and wonderful horror director. ” - smith-d-c
“ and Ethan Coen
Writers/Directors - brilliant style and modern filmaking geniuses. ” - smith-d-c
Though born in America, Irish actor Patrick McGoohan rose to become the number-one British TV star in the 1950s to 1960s era. His parents moved to Ireland when he was very young and McGoohan acquired a neutral accent that sounds at home in British or American dialogue. He was an avid stage actor and...
“ Actor and creator/director/writer for "The Prisoner" ” - smith-d-c
U.S.-born actor, director, writer, musician, and composer best known for his mockumentaries, poking fun at heavy metal music, small town theatre, dog shows, folk music and film-making itself, Christopher Haden-Guest was born February fifth, 1948, in New York City. His mother, Jean Pauline (Hindes), was a vice president of casting at CBS...
“ The genius of film mockumentary ” - smith-d-c
“ Producer/Writer/Director- TV is his best medium. ” - smith-d-c
“ Created Doctor Who & The Avengers ” - smith-d-c
“ Batman creator ” - smith-d-c
Starting as a cel washer, Chuck Jones worked his way up to animator and then director at the animation division of Warner Bros. He is famous for creating such beloved cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Henery Hawk, Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Sam Sheepdog, Sniffles, and many others...
“ The greatest animated cartoon director and a visual genius. ” - smith-d-c
“ Creator of "Peanuts" ” - smith-d-c
Tex Avery was a descendant of Judge Roy Bean and Daniel Boone, but all his grandma ever told him about it was "Don't ever mention you are kin to Roy Bean. He's a no good skunk!!" After graduating from North Dallas High School in 1927, Avery moved to Southern California in 1929 and got a job in the harbor...
“ The greatest cartoon gag writer and director. ” - smith-d-c
Attended Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon U) as a playwriting major. Barbara Bosson
, Michael Tucker
, Bruce Weitz
and Charles Haid
were classmates; he and Tucker drove cross-country to Hollywood for full-time jobs at Universal, where Bochco would remain for 12 years. In 1978, he moved to MTM Enterprises...
“ Creator/Writer NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, and many others. ” - smith-d-c
Aaron Spelling graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Before that, he attended Forest Avenue High. He started as a writer and sold his first script to Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre
. He wrote for various television shows, including Playhouse 90
. After he wrote his first pilot he became a producer for Four Star Productions...
“ TV producer of the schlock jiggle television. His stuff is still being done (for better for worse) ” - smith-d-c
Mark Burnett (born 17 July 1960) is a British television producer, based in Los Angeles. Burnett is currently the executive producer of five network television series with seven hours of network programming. He has produced over 2,400 hours of television which regularly airs in over 70 countries. His current series are Survivor
“ Brought the reality show to a more entertaining and social commentary environment: created Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Amazing Race. ” - smith-d-c
“ Creator and writer of The Fugitive, The Rockford Files, and Maverick. ” - smith-d-c
Stephen J. Cannell
Stephen J. Cannell was raised in Pasadena, California. His father ran an interior design firm. From an early age, Stephen suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia, which made it nearly impossible from him to do well in school, he either flunked or was held back many times. Even though one of the courses he had trouble with was English...
“ Mystery writer and producer. ” - smith-d-c
Erle Stanley Gardner
Erle Stanley Gardner, the prolific pulp fiction writer best known for creating the fictional lawyer Perry Mason; Della Street, Mason's secretary; private detective Paul Drake, Mason's favorite investigator; and Hamilton Burger, the district attorney with the worst won-lost record in the history of fictional jurisprudence...
“ Creator of the 1st and greatest TV lawyer show, Perry Mason. ” - smith-d-c
“ Writer-Producer "American Beauty" "Six Feet Under" ” - smith-d-c
Nicholas Meyer was born on December 24, 1945 in New York City, and is probably best known for his involvement in the Star Trek films. According to his website, it was seeing his first movie The Beggar's Opera
that inspired him to become a filmmaker. He was fascinated by such literary classics as Jules Verne
“ Writer-Director literary specialist of sci-fi. ” - smith-d-c
New Zealand-born screenwriter-director Andrew Niccol began his career in London, successfully directing TV commercials before moving to Los Angeles in order to make films "longer than 60 seconds." He interested high-powered producer Scott Rudin
in his The Truman Show
script, but Rudin was not willing to gamble on a rookie director...
“ New sci-fi writing genius. ” - smith-d-c
Thalberg was born in New York City of German immigrant parents. He had a bad heart, having contracted rheumatic fever as a teenager and was plagued with other ailments all of his life. He was quite intelligent with a thirst for knowledge but, convinced that he would never see thirty, he skipped college and became...
“ Producing giant ” - smith-d-c