Directors

by luluzadie | created - 01 Mar 2015 | updated - 29 Mar 2019 | Public

1. Werner Herzog

Director | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...

2. Noah Baumbach

Writer | Marriage Story

Born in Brooklyn in 1969 Noah Baumbach is the son of two film critics, Georgia Brown and Jonathan Baumbach (also a writer). His studies at Vassar College were the subject of his first film (made as he was 26 years old), Kicking and Screaming (1995). His second major picture, made ten years later, ...

3. Alejandro Jodorowsky

Writer | La montaña sagrada

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Tocopilla, Chile on February 17, 1929. In 1939 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1953 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He worked with Maurice Chevalier there and made a short film, La ...

4. 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 ...

5. Cornel Wilde

Actor | The Greatest Show on Earth

Dashing actor Cornel Wilde was born Kornel Lajos Weisz on October 13, 1912, in Prievidza, Hungary (now part of Slovakia), to a Jewish family. In 1920, he immigrated to New York City with his parents, Rayna (Vid) and Vojtech Béla Weisz, and elder sister, Edith. His family Americanized their names ...

6. Allen Funt

Producer | Money Talks

Allen Funt was born on September 16, 1914 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a producer and writer, known for Money Talks (1972), Here's Lucy (1968) and The New Candid Camera (1974). He was married to Marilyn Funt and Evelyn Michael. He died on September 5, 1999 in Pebble Beach, California, ...

7. 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...

8. Wes Anderson

Director | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

9. 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, ...

10. Francis Ford Coppola

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 ...

11. Sofia Coppola

Actress | The Godfather: Part III

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003), and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two daughters, Romy and ...

12. Justin Baldoni

Producer | Five Feet Apart

Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, speaker, and entrepreneur who is focused creating impactful media and entertainment.

After creating and directing the award-winning documentary series, My Last Days, Baldoni made his feature film directorial debut this year with FIVE FEET APART. He ...

13. 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 ...

14. 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.

Allen ...

15. Michael Showalter

Writer | Wet Hot American Summer

Michael Showalter is a director, writer, and producer who most recently directed the 2017 hit The Big Sick. Previously he directed and co-wrote the 2016 film Hello, My Name Is Doris starring Sally Field. Michael's first film was the The Baxter (2005) starring Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux. ...

16. Isao Takahata

Director | Kaguya-hime no monogatari

Isao Takahata was born on October 29, 1935 in Ise, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013), Grave of the Fireflies (1988) and Only Yesterday (1991). He died on April 5, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

17. Robert Kenner

Producer | Food, Inc.

Robert Kenner has won an array of awards and garnered rave reviews for his documentary work on a wide range of social and environmental issues. His latest film Command and Control opened theatrically to critical acclaim. His Academy Award-nominated film Food, Inc. had a monumental impact on how our...

18. Herschell Gordon Lewis

Director | This Stuff'll Kill Ya!

Only one film-maker can claim the title "Godfather of Gore." That peculiar but apt identification seems to be the exclusive property of Herschell Gordon Lewis. With an unusual background that included teaching English Literature to college students, producing and directing television commercials, ...

19. Jerry Zucker

Producer | Airplane!

Jerry Zucker was born on March 11, 1950 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for Airplane! (1980), Ghost (1990) and Top Secret! (1984). He has been married to Janet Zucker since May 1987. They have two children.

20. M. Night Shyamalan

Producer | Lady in the Water

Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.

He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...

21. Baz Luhrmann

Writer | Moulin Rouge!

Baz Luhrmann is an Australian writer, director, and producer with projects spanning film, television, opera, theatre, music, and recording industries. He is regarded by many as a contemporary example of an auteur for his distinctly recognizable style and deep involvement in the writing, directing, ...

22. Richard Linklater

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. ...

23. 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. ...

24. David Lane

Assistant_director | Superman

David Lane was born on February 4, 1940 in Uxbridge, Middlesex, England as David William Lane. He is an editor and director, known for Superman (1978), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Superman III (1983).

25. Jonathan Demme

Director | The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA as Robert Jonathan Demme. He was a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Rachel Getting Married (2008) and Philadelphia (1993). He was married to Joanne Howard and Evelyn Purcell. He died...

26. Alfonso Cuarón

Writer | Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then ...

27. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

28. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

29. Martin Ritt

Director | Hud

Martin Ritt, one of the best and most sensitive American filmmakers of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his characters.

He originally ...

30. Larry Buchanan

Director | A Bullet for Pretty Boy

Self-described schlockmeister Larry Buchanan was born Marcus Larry Seale, Jr. on January 31, 1923. Orphaned at an early age, he was sent to a Baptist orphanage. After graduating from high school in Dallas, the 18-year-old turned down a scholarship to study the ministry at Baylor University to ...

31. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

32. Colin Trevorrow

Producer | Safety Not Guaranteed

Born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, Colin Trevorrow started making short films when he was 12 years old. He studied film and dramatic writing at New York University. After graduation, he wrote and directed "Home Base" a digital short that became one of the early viral successes on the ...

33. Ralph Bakshi

Director | Wizards

Ralph Bakshi worked his way up from Brooklyn and became an animation legend. He was born on October 29, 1938, in Haifa, Israel, the son of Mina (Zlotin) and Eliezar Bakshi, and is of Krymchak Jewish descent. He was raised in Brownsville, after his family came to New York to escape World War II. ...

34. 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 ...

35. Kirby Dick

Director | The Invisible War

Kirby Dick is a two time Emmy-award winning and two-time Academy award-nominated documentary film director. His most recent film, The Hunting Ground (2015), a monumental exposé about sexual assault on college campuses, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was released by Radius/The ...

36. Peter Bogdanovich

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 ...

37. Lasse Hallström

Director | What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Lasse Hallström was born on June 2, 1946 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden as Lars Hallström. He is a director and writer, known for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Dear John (2010) and My Life as a Dog (1985). He has been married to Lena Olin since March 18, 1994. They have one child. He ...

38. Mamoru Hosoda

Director | Samâ uôzu

Mamoru Hosoda is a Japanese film director and animator. Formerly employed at Toei Animation, he went to work at Madhouse from 2005 to 2011. Hosoda left Madhouse in 2011 to establish his own animation studio, Studio Chizu. He first came to public attention in the early 2000s with the first two films...

39. Jeremy Saulnier

Cinematographer | Blue Ruin

Jeremy Saulnier has slyly defined a unique cinematic aesthetic that complements his idiosyncratic narrative premises. His sophomore feature, Blue Ruin (2013) a quirky, crime drama set in a pretty, but grimier part of suburban America was a festival darling and supplanted his name within the ...

40. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

41. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...

42. David Cronenberg

Actor | The Fly

David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...

43. Howard Hughes

Scarface

Billionaire businessman, film producer, film director, and aviator, born in Humble, Texas just north of Houston. He studied at two prestigious institutions of higher learning: Rice University in Houston and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Inherited his father's machine ...

44. Frederick Wiseman

Director | National Gallery

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 ...

45. Brian De Palma

Director | Dressed to Kill

Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...

46. Mike Leigh

Director | Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Naked (1993). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.



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