Born: 20 January 1946
Birthplace: Missoula, Montana
Best known as: The director of Blue Velvet
David Lynch is famous for writing and directing what can only be called "David Lynch movies," features whose perplexing plots are often a surreal mix of wonder and repugnance. After his first film, Eraserhead (1976), became a cult hit on the midnight movie circuit, Lynch was tapped by Mel Brooks to direct The Elephant Man (1980, the story of Joseph Merrick). The film was a critical and box-office success and he was nominated for an Oscar. His next film was 1984's unsuccessful version of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel, Dune, but he bounced back with Blue Velvet (1986, starring Dennis Hopper) and firmly established himself as a unique filmmaker who could appeal to more than arthouse crowds. He has ventured into television, most famously for a Calvin Klein commercial and for the series Twin Peaks (1990). His other feature films include Wild at Heart (1990, starring Nicolas Cage), Lost Highway (1997) and The Straight Story (1999, starring Sissy Spacek). His 2001 film Mulholland Drive earned him another Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Extra credit: Lynch is also a photographer, musician and painter... His daughter, Jennifer Lynch, wrote and directed the 1992 feature film Boxing Helena.
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