John Cameron Mitchell

writer, director
Born: 4/21/1963
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas

After a transient childhood moving every two years with his career army dad and family, Mitchell graduated from Northwestern University and headed for California where he developed a steady career playing bit roles in TV sitcoms (McGuyver, The Twilight Zone, Law & Order). On Broadway he starred in the original production of Six Degrees of Separation. With musician Stephen Trask he created the character Hedwig for a New York drag show. The two went on to make an off-Broadway musical about Hedwig the German transsexual, victim of a botched sex job, and her rock & roll band. After three years off-Broadway, Hedwig and the Angry Inch the movie arrived in theaters in 2001 and quickly established a cult status akin to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It also earned Mitchell a Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and a Teddy Award for Best Gay/Lesbian Feature. Mitchell has moved on—current projects include an animated children's movie and an adult video—but he acknowledges his debt to Hedwig for releasing him from “his drab journeyman's existence as an actor.”

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