director, writer, actor
Birthplace: Schenectady, New York
After college, Sayles worked odd jobs while writing novels (Pride of the Bimbos, 1975; Union Dues, 1977) and short stories (collected in The Anarchists' Convention, 1979). He also worked as a screenwriter, churning out scripts for B movies, and gained critical attention for directing the low-budget Secaucus Seven (1980). In 1983 he won a MacArthur “genius” grant and has created memorable independent films including Baby, It's You (1983; director, writer), The Secret of Roan Inish (1994; director, writer, editor), Lone Star (1996; director, writer, editor), and Limbo (director, writer, editor). His screenplays for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996) were nominated for Oscars.