National Film Registry Writersby majfoalbkeopaza | created - 06 May 2018 | updated - 9 months ago | Public
Actor | The General
Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, 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 ...
Writer | 2001: A Space Odyssey
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 ...
Writer | Ran
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 (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...
The Magnificent Seven (1960)(screenplay "Shichinin no samurai")(uncredited) - 2013
4. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
His father, Richard Head Welles, was a well-to-do inventor, his mother, Beatrice (Ives) Welles, a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died in 1924 (when he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. He was ...
5. Woody Allen
Writer | Manhattan
Woody Allen was born on December 1, 1935, as Allen Konigsberg, in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Martin Konigsberg and Nettie Konigsberg. He has one younger sister, Letty Aronson. As a young boy, he became intrigued with magic tricks and playing the clarinet, two hobbies that he continues today.
6. Dan Aykroyd
Writer | Ghostbusters
Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where...
Writer | Avatar
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 ...
Writer | The Fog
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 ...
Halloween (1978) (screenplay) - 2006
Writer | The Great Dictator
Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...
Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914) (uncredited) - 2020 The Immigrant (1917) (written by) - 1998 The Kid (1921) (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin) - 2011 The Gold Rush (1925) (written by) - 1992 City Lights (1931) (written by) - 1991 Modern Times (1936) (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin) - 1989 The Great Dictator (1940) (written by) - 1997
10. 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 ...
11. 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 ...
12. David Lynch
Writer | Twin Peaks
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 ...
Eraserhead (1977) (written by) - 2004
13. Martin Scorsese
Director | Taxi Driver
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 ...
14. Steven Spielberg
Producer | Schindler's List
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, ...
Actor | Rocky
Sylvester Stallone is a athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director/producer, the movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 40 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.
Sylvester Stallone was born on July 6, 1946, in...
Rocky (1976) (written by) - 2006
16. Oliver Stone
Producer | JFK
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success.
William Oliver Stone was ...
Platoon (1986) (written by) - 2019
Writer | Reservoir Dogs
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...
Pulp Fiction (1994) (stories/written by) - 2013
18. Robert Altman
Director | Gosford Park
Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started...
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) (screenplay) - 2010
19. 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 ...
Producer | Apocalypse Now
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 ...
21. Michael Crichton
Writer | Jurassic Park
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 ...
Jurassic Park (1993) (novel/screenplay) - 2018
22. Walt Disney
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 ...
Steamboat Willie (1928) (uncredited) - 1998
23. John Ford
Director | The Quiet Man
John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...
The Quiet Man (1952) (contributing writer) (uncredited) - 2013
24. D.W. Griffith
Director | The Birth of a Nation
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War veteran. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually shape his movies. In 1897 ...
25. Curtis Hanson
Director | L.A. Confidential
After small films like The Bedroom Window (1987) and Sweet Kill (1972), Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992), The River Wild (1994) and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was ...
L.A. Confidential (1997) (screenplay) - 2015
26. Dennis Hopper
Actor | Easy Rider
With an amazing cinematic career of more than five decades, Dennis Hopper was a multi-talented and unconventional actor/director, regarded by many as one of the true "enfants terribles" of Hollywood. Hopper was born on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, to Marjorie Mae (Davis) and James Millard ...
Easy Rider (1969) (written by) - 1998
27. John Hughes
Writer | Planes, Trains & Automobiles
John Hughes was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter. He was credited for creating some of the most memorable comedy films of the 1980s and the 1990s, when he was at the height of his career. He had a talent for writing coming-of-age stories, and for depicting fairly realistic...
28. Jim Jarmusch
Director | Only Lovers Left Alive
Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.
Stranger Than Paradise (1984) (written by) - 2002
29. John Landis
Director | The Blues Brothers
John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes (1970). Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "...
30. Fritz Lang
Actor | Le mépris
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...
Fury (1936) (screen play) - 1995
31. Spike Lee
Director | Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...
Director | Waking Life
Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...
Slacker (1990) (writer) - 2012
33. Terrence Malick
Writer | Days of Heaven
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.
A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen ...
Writer | All About Eve
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount ...
35. Edgar Allan Poe
Writer | Eliza Graves
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco ...
36. Roman Polanski
Director | 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 ...
37. Harold Ramis
Writer | Ghostbusters
Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...
38. John Sayles
Writer | Lone Star
A bright child, John Sayles began reading novels before age 9. A Williams grad in 1972, he shunned a corporate career to work various blue-collar jobs, moving to east Boston to take a factory job. He wrote stories and submitted them to various magazines, and the Atlantic Monthly gave him the idea ...
Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) (writer) - 1997
Writer | M the Movie
William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an ...
40. Gore Vidal
Actor | Gattaca
Gore Vidal was born Eugene Louis Vidal in 1925 in West Point, New York, to Nina (Gore) and West Point aeronautics instructor and aviation pioneer Eugene Luther Vidal. The Vidals endured a rocky marriage divorcing ten years after Gore's birth. Young Gore spent much of his childhood with his blind ...
Ben-Hur (1959) (contributing writer)(uncredited) - 2004
41. Wim Wenders
Director | Der Himmel über Berlin
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until ...
Buena Vista Social Club (1999) (by) - 2020
42. Billy Wilder
Writer | The Apartment
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...
Midnight (1939) (screenplay) - 2013 Ninotchka (1939) (screen play) - 1990 Ball of Fire (1941) (screen play)(from an original story by) - 2016 Double Indemnity (1944) (screenplay) - 1992 The Lost Weekend (1945) (screen play) - 2011 Sunset Boulevard (1950) (written by) - 1989 Ace in the Hole (1951) (written by) - 2017 Sabrina (1954) (written for the screen by) - 2002 Some Like It Hot (1959) (screenplay) - 1989 The Apartment (1960) (written by) - 1994
43. Gene Wilder
When he was 11 he wanted to be a comedian like Sid Ceasar then when he was 15 and saw Lee J Cobb in 'Death of a Salesman' he decided he would be a comedy actor. and found that Mel Brooks was a great influence on his screen writing. He combined both talents with directing in'The World's Greatest ...
Young Frankenstein (1974) (screen story and screenplay) - 2003
44. 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 ...
Back to the Future (1985) (written by) - 2007
45. Jim Abrahams
Writer | Airplane!
Airplane! (1980) (written for the screen by) - 2010
46. Dario Argento
Writer | Profondo rosso
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 ...
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by) - 2009
47. Roger Avary
Writer | The Rules of Attraction
Award-winning filmmaker Roger Avary first began experimenting in Beta I video and 8mm film formats during the late 1970s. In 1983, his Super-8mm supernatural thriller The Worm Turns won Best Film from the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association Film Expo. He went on to attend the Pasadena Art Center ...
Pulp Fiction (1994) (stories) - 2013
48. Saul Bass
Director | Why Man Creates
Saul Bass was born in New York City in 1920 and is a widely acclaimed graphic designer with a career spanning over 40 years. Among his most famous works are the title sequences for such classic films as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). Bass used his ...
Why Man Creates (1968) (conceived and written by) - 2002
49. L. Frank Baum
Writer | The Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum became a success with his 1883 production of "The Maid of Arran" in 1882. He was a dreamer, had a printing press and an amateur newspaper, "The Rose Lawn Home Journal" and published a coin and stamp collecting guide. He failed at almost everything through poor business sense. He had ...
The Wizard of Oz (1939) (from the book by) - 1989
50. 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).
51. Andrew Bergman
Writer | Striptease
Andrew Bergman was born on February 20, 1945 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Striptease (1996), Blazing Saddles (1974) and Fletch (1985). He has been married to Louise Fay since 1973. They have two children.
Blazing Saddles (1974) (story/screenplay) - 2006
Writer | Ultimo tango a Parigi
Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (...
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by) - 2009
Director | The Last Picture Show
Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in Kingston, New York. He is the son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, Herma (Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich, a painter and pianist. His father was a Serbian Orthodox Christian, and his mother was from a wealthy Austrian Jewish family. Peter ...
The Last Picture Show (1971) (screenplay) - 1998
54. John Boorman
Producer | Hope and Glory
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. ...
Deliverance (1972) (additional dialogue)(uncredited) - 2008
55. Martin Brest
Director | Scent of a Woman
Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972) - 2009
56. James L. Brooks
Writer | Broadcast News
James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for Broadcast News (1987), As Good as It Gets (1997) and Terms of Endearment (1983). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.
Broadcast News (1987) (written by) - 2018
57. Frank Capra
Director | It's a Wonderful Life
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 ...
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (screenplay) - 1990
58. John Cassavetes
Actor | Love Streams
John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film, as he often financed his own films.
Cassavetes was born in New York City in 1929 to Nicholas John Cassavetes (1893-1979) and his wife, Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). ...
59. Michael Cimino
Writer | The Deer Hunter
Michael Cimino studied architecture and dramatic arts; later he filmed advertisements and documentaries and also wrote scripts until the actor, producer and director Clint Eastwood gave him the opportunity to direct the thriller Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974). But his biggest success was The Deer...
The Deer Hunter (1978) (story) - 1996
60. Montgomery Clift
Actor | From Here to Eternity
Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta (1920-2014) and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg; 1888-1988) and William Brooks Clift (1886-...
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) (uncredited) - 2013
61. Ethan Coen
Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The younger brother of Joel, Ethan Coen is an Academy Award and Golden Globe winning writer, producer and director coming from small independent films to big profile Hollywood films. He was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In some films of the brothers- Ethan & Joel wrote, Joel...
62. Joel Coen
Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and Barton Fink (1991). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.
63. Chris Columbus
Producer | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Ohio, Chris Columbus was first inspired to make movies after seeing "The Godfather" at age 15. After enrolling at NYU film school, he sold his first screenplay (never produced) while a sophomore there. After graduation Columbus tried to sell his fourth script, "...
The Goonies (1985) (screenplay) - 2017
64. Joseph Cotten
Actor | The Third Man
Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia, into a well-to-do Southern family. He was the eldest of three sons born to Sally Whitworth (Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., an assistant postmaster.
Jo (as he was known) and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their...
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (additional scenes)(uncredited) - 1991
65. Cameron Crowe
Writer | Almost Famous
Certainly idiosyncratic as a writer, Cameron Crowe has created a series of scripts that, while liked by the critics, were considered offbeat and difficult to market.
Cameron Bruce Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California, to Alice Marie Crowe (née George), a teacher and activist, and James A. ...
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) (book/screenplay) - 2005
66. Roald Dahl
Writer | The Witches
Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. He served as a fighter pilot in the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He made a forced landing in the Libyan Desert and was severely injured. As a result, he spent five months in a Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. Dahl is known for how he ...
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) (book/screenplay) - 2014
67. Frank Darabont
Writer | The Shawshank Redemption
Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbeliard, France, the son of Hungarian parents who had fled Budapest during the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution. Brought to America as an infant, he settled with his family in Los Angeles and attended Hollywood High ...
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (screenplay) - 2015
68. Philip K. Dick
Writer | Blade Runner
Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of...
Blade Runner (1982) (novel) - 1993
69. Blake Edwards
Writer | The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) and wrote a number of others, beginning with ...
The Pink Panther (1963) (screenplay) - 2010
Actor | Robin Hood
Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver, Colorado, to Ella Adelaide (nee Marsh) and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, an attorney and native of Pennsylvania, who was a captain for the Union forces during the Civil War. Fairbanks' paternal grandparents were German Jewish immigrants, ...
71. William Faulkner
Writer | To Have and Have Not
William Faulkner, one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists, wrote for the movies in part because he could not make enough money from his novels and short stories to support his growing number of dependants. The author of such acclaimed novels as "The Sound and the Fury" and "Absalom, Absalom...
72. W.C. Fields
Actor | It's a Gift
William Claude Dukenfield was the eldest of five children born to Cockney immigrant James Dukenfield and Philadelphia native Kate Felton. He went to school for four years, then quit to work with his father selling vegetables from a horse cart. At eleven, after many fights with his alcoholic father ...
73. Peter Fonda
Actor | Easy Rider
Peter Henry Fonda was born in New York City, to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw. He is the brother of actress Jane Fonda and the father of actress Bridget Fonda. Fonda made his professional stage debut on Broadway in 1961 in Blood, Sweat and Stanley ...
Easy Rider (1969) (written by) - 1998
Director | The Manchurian Candidate
Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he ...
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (uncredited) - 1994
75. William Goldman
Writer | Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
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 ...
Actor | This Is Spinal Tap
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),...
This Is Spinal Tap (1984) (written by) - 2002
77. Oliver Hardy
Actor | Sons of the Desert
Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began ...
Sons of the Desert (1933) (uncredited) - 2012
78. Howard Hawks
Director | Red River
What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...
79. Brian Helgeland
Writer | A Knight's Tale
Brian Helgeland was born in 1961 in Providence, Rhode Island and raised in New Bedford Massachusetts, fictional home of The Spouter Inn where Ishmael first met Queequeg. A born worker, Helgeland has endeavored to achieve in the following fields: snow shoveler, scrap newspaper collector, dishwasher,...
L.A. Confidential (1997) (screenplay) - 2015
80. John Huston
Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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 was English,...
Jezebel (1938) (screen play) - 2009 Wuthering Heights (1939) (contributing writer)(uncredited) - 2007 Sergeant York (1941) (original screen play) - 2008 The Maltese Falcon (1941) (screen play by) - 1989 The Battle of San Pietro (1945) (uncredited) - 1991 The Killers (1946) (uncredited) - 2008 Let There Be Light (1946) - 2010 The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) (screenplay) - 1990 The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (screen play) - 2008 The African Queen (1951) (adapted for the screen by) - 1994
81. Michael Jackson
Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson (no relation to Joe Jackson, also a musician), had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Michael's ...
Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) (written by) - 2009
82. Lawrence Kasdan
Writer | The Big Chill
Lawrence Kasdan was born on January 14, 1949 in Miami, Florida, USA as Lawrence Edward Kasdan. He is a writer and producer, known for The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). He has been married to Meg Kasdan since November 28, 1971. They have two children.
83. Elia Kazan
Director | On the Waterfront
Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...
84. Charles Laughton
Actor | Witness for the Prosecution
Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...
The Night of the Hunter (1955) (screenplay contributor)(uncredited) - 1992
85. Elmore Leonard
Writer | Out of Sight
Elmore Leonard was born on October 11, 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Elmore John Leonard Jr. He was a writer and producer, known for Out of Sight (1998), Get Shorty (1995) and Justified (2010). He was married to Christine Kent, Joan Shepard and Beverly Claire Cline. He died on August 20, ...
86. Sergio Leone
Writer | Once Upon a Time in America
Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by/screenplay by) - 2009
87. Barry Levinson
Director | Rain Man
Barry Lee Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he ...
Tootsie (1982) (uncredited) - 1998
88. Jerry Lewis
Actor | The Nutty Professor
Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...
The Nutty Professor (1963) (written by) - 2004
89. Rick Moranis
Actor | Parenthood
Rick began his career as a radio DJ while he was still at high school which led to him writing, producing and being on air in his own show. He joined the Canadian TV series, SCTV (1976), winning an Emmy for writing and portraying the character, Bob McKenzie, which became the basis for the film, ...
Ghostbusters (1984) (uncredited) - 2015
90. Errol Morris
His documentaries helped spur a rebirth of non-fiction film in the 80s & garnered wide critical success. But until 2003's "The Fog of War," Morris was shunned by the Academy Awards.
Morris' first two films won much acclaim (Gates of Heaven (1978) and Vernon, Florida (1981)). In the second movie, ...
The Thin Blue Line (1988) - 2001
91. Sam Peckinpah
Writer | The Wild Bunch
"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That ...
92. Richard Pryor
Actor | Superman III
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 ...
Blazing Saddles (1974) (screenplay) - 2006
93. Rob Reiner
Actor | All in the Family
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner.
As a child, his father was his role model, as Carl Reiner created and starred in The Dick Van Dyke Show. Estelle was also an inspiration for him to become a ...
This Is Spinal Tap (1984) (written by) - 2002
94. Robert Rodriguez
Producer | El mariachi
Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.
Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...
El mariachi (1992) (written by) - 2011
95. George A. Romero
Writer | Land of the Dead
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...
Night of the Living Dead (1968) (screenplay)(as George Romero) - 1999
96. Paul Schrader
Writer | First Reformed
Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's background couldn't have been more different than theirs. His strict Calvinist parents refused to allow him to see a...
Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) (written by) - 2006
98. Robert Towne
Writer | Chinatown
Writer, director, producer, actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro. Got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman. Came into his own during the 1970s when he was regarded as one of the finest ...
99. Peter Ustinov
Actor | Spartacus
Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.
He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinow on April 16, 1921 in Swiss Cottage, ...
Spartacus (1960) (uncredited) - 2017
100. Steven Zaillian
Writer | Searching for Bobby Fischer
Steven Zaillian was born on January 30, 1953 in Fresno, California, USA as Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian. He is a writer and producer, known for Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), Schindler's List (1993) and A Civil Action (1998). He is married to Elizabeth Zaillian. They have two children.
Schindler's List (1993) (screenplay) - 2004