Oldest Living Great Directors

by pr1mal_1 | created - 25 Jun 2011 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

Title is self-explanatory.

1. Carl Reiner

Actor | Ocean's Eleven

Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, three as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his...

2. Bert I. Gordon

Director | Empire of the Ants

Bert I. Gordon, affectionately nicknamed "Mr. B.I.G." by Forrest J. Ackerman, produced, directed, and wrote more than twenty-five Sci/Fi and Horror features, such as The Magic Sword (1962), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Village of the Giants (1965), The Cyclops (1957), in addition to comedies ...

3. Jonas Mekas

Director | The Brig

Jonas Mekas, born December 24, 1922, Semeniskiai, Birzai, Lithuania, is a director, cinematographer, editor, writer, actor, poet, artist and publicist. More than 60 years of tireless work in film, arts and media has earned him the epithet "The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema". In 1944 ...

4. Franco Zeffirelli

Director | Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli was born on February 12, 1923 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy as Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli. He is known for his work on Romeo and Juliet (1968), The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and La traviata (1982).

5. Stanley Donen

Director | Charade

Since he was a child, Stanley Donen attended dance classes and debuted on Broadway at age 17. With the help of the producer Arthur Freed and the actor Gene Kelly he got the chance to direct the musicals On the Town (1949), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and Love Is Better Than Ever (1952) which ...

6. Robert M. Young

Director | Alambrista!

Born in New York City. Made many award-winning documentaries including The Eskimo: Fight for Life (1970) and a documentary about the civil war in Angola. In 1978 he won the Camera d'Or at Cannes and Best Feature at San Sebastian for Alambrista! (1977).

7. Peter Brook

Director | Marat/Sade

Born in London, Peter was educated at Westminster, and Magdalen College Oxford. He has staged numerous productions for Birmingham Rep, Stratford Upon Avon and Broadway. In 1962 he was appointed Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a position he held for 2 decades. His most famous stage ...

8. D.A. Pennebaker

Director | Dont Look Back

D.A. Pennebaker was born on July 15, 1925 in Evanston, Illinois, USA as Donn Alan Pennebaker. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Dont Look Back (1967), The War Room (1993) and Unlocking the Cage (2016). He has been married to Chris Hegedus since April 3, 1982. They have two children. ...

9. Claude Lanzmann

Director | Shoah

Claude Lanzmann was born on November 27, 1925 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for Shoah (1985), Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001) and Le dernier des injustes (2013). He has been married to Dominique Petithory since 1995. They have one child. He was previously ...

10. Roger Corman

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

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...

11. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

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 ...

12. Norman Jewison

Director | In the Heat of the Night

Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, ...

13. Kenneth Anger

Director | Fireworks

Kenneth Anger grew up in Hollywood and started out as a child actor, but his interest in filmmaking was evident at an early age: he made his first film, "Who's Been Rocking My Dreamboat?", at age 9. Anger developed into one of the pioneers of the American underground film movement. His gritty, ...

14. Allen Baron

Director | Blast of Silence

Allen Baron was born on April 14, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He is a director and writer, known for Blast of Silence (1961), The Immortal (1969) and Terror in the City (1964).

15. Toshio Masuda

Director | Shaso

Toshio Masuda was born on October 5, 1927 in Kobe, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Shaso (1989), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and 203 kochi (1980).

16. William Klein

Director | Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?

William Klein was born on April 19, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a director and writer, known for Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), Le couple témoin (1977) and Mr. Freedom (1968).

17. Agnès Varda

Director | Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She is a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Le Bonheur (1965) and Les plages d'Agnès (2008). She was previously married to Jacques Demy.

18. James Ivory

Writer | Call Me by Your Name

The main part of his few movies were filmed in the quarter of a century in which he worked closely together with the Indian producer Ismail Merchant and the German writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. His first films are all set in India and are very much influenced by the style of Satyajit Ray and Jean ...

19. Lina Wertmüller

Writer | Pasqualino Settebellezze

Lina Wertmüller was born on August 14, 1928 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Arcangela Felice Assunta Job Wertmüller von Elgg Espanol von Brauchich. She is a writer and director, known for Seven Beauties (1975), Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (1974) and I basilischi (1963). She ...

20. Nicolas Roeg

Director | Don't Look Now

When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's ...

21. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 7, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La cravate...

22. Mark Rydell

Actor | The Long Goodbye

Mark Rydell was born on March 23, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as Mortimer H. Rydell. He is known for his work on The Long Goodbye (1973), James Dean (2001) and The Cowboys (1972). He was previously married to Esther Rydell and Joanne Linville.

23. Richard Rush

Director | The Stunt Man

Richard Rush was born on April 15, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a director and producer, known for The Stunt Man (1980), Freebie and the Bean (1974) and Color of Night (1994).

24. Eddie Garcia

Director | Magdusa ka!

Eddie Garcia was born on May 2, 1929 in Sorsogon, Philippines as Eduardo Verchez Garcia. He is an actor and director, known for Magdusa ka! (1986), Bwakaw (2012) and Sinasamba kita (1982).

25. Claude Goretta

Director | La dentellière

Claude Goretta was born on June 23, 1929 in Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. He is a director and writer, known for The Lacemaker (1977), L'invitation (1973) and La provinciale (1981).

26. Alain Tanner

Director | Le retour d'Afrique

Alain Tanner was born on December 6, 1929 in Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. He is a director and writer, known for Le retour d'Afrique (1973), In the White City (1983) and The Salamander (1971). He has been married to Janine Giudici since 1964.

27. Michael Snow

Director | Wavelength

Central figure of the American avant-garde. An artist who made an isolated animated short, A to Z (1956), Snow concentrated on his painting career until moving to New York in 1963. After attending avant-garde film screenings organized by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas and turning out a second film, ...

28. Frederick Wiseman

Director | Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Born in 1930, Wiseman is a Cambridge, Massachusetts resident and member of the Massachusetts Bar Association who turned to filmmaking in 1967, after years as an instructor and/or researcher at Boston University, Brandeis University, and Harvard. In 1970 he founded Zipporah Films, Inc., which ...

29. Richard Donner

Director | Superman

Richard Donner was born on April 24, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard D. Schwartzberg. He is a director and producer, known for Superman (1978), Ladyhawke (1985) and Lethal Weapon (1987). He has been married to Lauren Shuler Donner since November 27, 1986.

30. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

31. Moshé Mizrahi

Director | Ore'ach B'Onah Metah

Moshé Mizrahi was born on September 5, 1930 in Alexandria, Egypt. He is a director and writer, known for Ore'ach B'Onah Metah (1970), Madame Rosa (1977) and I Sent a Letter to My Love (1980). He is married to Michal Bat-Adam.

32. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | À bout de souffle

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

33. Masahiro Shinoda

Director | Shinjû: Ten no Amijima

Masahiro Shinoda was born on March 9, 1931 in Gifu, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Double Suicide (1969), Chinmoku (1971) and Sharaku (1995). He has been married to Shima Iwashita since 1967. They have one child.

34. Ted Kotcheff

Director | Weekend at Bernie's

William Theodore Kotcheff was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Bulgarian parents from Plovdiv. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time ...

35. Jan Troell

Director | Utvandrarna

Jan Troell was born on July 23, 1931 in Limhamn, Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden. He is a director and cinematographer, known for The Emigrants (1971), Here Is Your Life (1966) and Il capitano (1991). He is married to Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell.

36. Ruy Guerra

Director | Estorvo

Ruy Guerra left his studies in Portugal for to go to the School of Cinema in Paris. After having worked as assistant for various French directors he moved to Brasil and participated with his first two films in the birth of the "Cinema Novo": "Os Cafajestes (1962)" and "Os Fuzis (1964)" which won ...

37. Paolo Taviani

Director | La notte di San Lorenzo

Paolo Taviani studied liberal arts at the University of Pisa, becoming interested in the cinema after seeing Roberto Rossellini's Paisan (1946). After writing and directing short films and plays with his brother Vittorio, he made his first feature in 1962. The brothers have continued to work ...

38. Carlos Saura

Writer | Cría cuervos

Spanish director, writer, producer (2 films) and actor (2 films). His interest on cinema started when he was very young. His mother, who was a pianist, instilled in him the liking for music, and his brother, Antonio, who was a painter, the passion for art. When he was an teenager he started to ...

39. Richard Lester

Director | A Hard Day's Night

Richard Lester was one of the most influential directors of the 1960s, and continued his career into the 1970s and early '80s. He is best remembered for the two films he helmed starring The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (1964) (1964) and Help! (1965) (1965), the frenetic cutting style of which was ...

40. Elaine May

Actress | Small Time Crooks

Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Ishtar (1987). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.

41. Anne Claire Poirier

Director | Tu as crié: Let me go

Born in Montreal. Study first in Law but turn to the Conservatoire d'art dramatique. She works on TV at the Societe Radio-Canada as an actress, an interviewer, a writer. Enters the Office du film du Canada in 1960 in the Translation's Office. From edition to production then direction, she becomes a...

42. Monte Hellman

Director | Iguana

Monte Hellman was born on July 12, 1932, in New York City, where his parents were visiting, but he grew up in Los Angeles. He studied drama at Stanford University--on an NBC scholarship--and film at UCLA. After a few years directing in summer theater, Hellman hooked up with legendary "B" movie ...

43. Robert Benton

Writer | Kramer vs. Kramer

Robert Benton was born on September 29, 1932 in Waxahachie, Texas, USA as Robert Douglas Benton. He is a writer and director, known for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Superman (1978).

44. Dusan Makavejev

Director | W.R. - Misterije organizma

Dusan Makavejev is the premier figure in Yugoslavian film history; his films are deeply rooted in his nation's painful postwar experiences and draw on important Yugoslavian cinematic and cultural models. Makavejev's work has violated many political and sexual taboos and invited censorship in dozens...

45. Liliana Cavani

Director | Dove siete? Io sono qui

Liliana Cavani was born on January 12, 1933 in Carpi, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. She is a director and writer, known for Dove siete? Io sono qui (1993), The Night Porter (1974) and L'ospite (1971).

46. John Boorman

Producer | Excalibur

John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. ...

47. Costa-Gavras

Director | Missing

Costa-Gavras was born on February 12, 1933 in Loutra-Iraias, Greece as Konstantinos Gavras. He is a director and writer, known for Missing (1982), Z (1969) and Amen. (2002). He has been married to Michèle Ray-Gavras since 1968. They have two children.

48. Yoshishige Yoshida

Director | Ningen no yakusoku

Yoshishige Yoshida was born on February 16, 1933 in Fukui, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for A Promise (1986), Arashi ga oka (1988) and Farewell to the Summer Light (1968). He has been married to Okada, Mariko since 1964.

49. Bob Rafelson

Producer | Five Easy Pieces

Bob Rafelson is an American film director, writer and producer. He is regarded as one of the founders of the New Hollywood movement in the 1970s. Among his best-known films are Five Easy Pieces (1970), The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).

He was also one of ...

50. Ivan Passer

Director | Intimní osvetlení

Ivan Passer was born on July 10, 1933 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He is a director and writer, known for Intimate Lighting (1965), Fádní odpoledne (1964) and Haunted Summer (1988).

51. Roman Polanski

Actor | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...