Today's Birthdays: December 18
1946–, American Film Director.
Spielberg began his career as a television director, admired for his understanding portrayal of human character. His film Jaws (1975) was the first to earn more than $100 million, a record he surpassed first with E.T. (1983) and then with Jurassic Park (1993), which grossed more than $900 million. Spielberg's love of older movies was demonstrated with his serial-inspired trilogy of movies featuring Indiana Jones. Other films, many based on literary works, include The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), and the widely acclaimed Holocaust drama Schindler's List (1993), for which he won an Academy Award. In 1994, Spielberg, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, and recording industry mogul David Geffen formed Dreamworks SKG, a movie studio and entertainment company.
The director later explored a slave revolt and trial in Amistad (1997) and won his second Oscar for the chillingly realistic war drama Saving Private Ryan (1998). He subsequently examined a ghastly future world of neurotic humans and sentient robots (the result of a collaboration with Stanley Kubrick) in A.I. (2001), for which he also wrote the screenplay, and portrayed another dark future in which crime is detected and stopped before it is committed in the allegory-thriller Minority Report (2002). He turned to a lighter, more comic vision in his tales of a young imposter and his implacable pursuer in Catch Me If You Can (2002) and of an Eastern European stranded in New York's Kennedy Airport in The Terminal (2004). By the early years of the 21st cent., Spielberg was mainstream Hollywood's most famous, influential, and successful director.
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