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Steven Spielberg

(1946- present)

Behind the cameras, when the lights go up there's one person who lights up!

Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was evident from an early age that Mr. Spielberg had an interest in films. The first film a young Steven saw was Cecil B. DeMille's " The Greatest on Earth". He was a little disappointed when all he saw was a flat screen with chairs turned in toward it. But the movie that had the greatest influence on Spielberg was David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia". He's been quoted as feeling "as if I were reading a romance novel" .

When Spielberg was 13 he won first prize for a film. It was a 40-minute fully scripted war movie, it was called "Escape to Nowhere". At age 16, he made he made a 2 1/2 hour movie about scientists investigating mysterious lights in the sky (this is the inspirations for Close Encounters), this was called "Firelight". This movie is said to be one of the most influential films of his film career. This was the beginning of a wonderful career.

In the summer of '65, Spielberg was staying at his cousin's house, near Universal Studios. He took a bus tour of the Studios snuck off, found an abandoned janitor's office and became a squatter. He came to Universal everyday in a suit and tie and pretended to work at Universal Studios. This is how he learned about the film industry.

At the age of 24 he made a 24 minute movie about two hitchhikers, the name, Amblin. It won him several festival awards and got the attention of Universal Studios. He was then hired at Universal by Sidney Sheinberg and was given a seven-year T.V contract. He produced different episodes of several series, and he also got the chance to direct some made for T.V movies, such as "Something Evil" and the critically acclaimed film "Duel", which was so popular that it later moved to foreign theatres.

Spielberg then made his first feature film, " The Sugarland Express" in 1974. It was based on a true story of a Texas woman fighting the law to regain custody of her child. This film won "Best Screenplay" at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974.

In 1975, Spielberg was given the chance to direct the movie "Jaws", the film adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel. The first time Spielberg heard the films' title, he thought it was about a dentist!

Only his second feature film, "Jaws" was an overnight success. Grossing over $130 million at its first release in the U.S.A. It was also nominated for "Best Film" at the 1976 Academy Awards. It went on to win 3 Oscars for Editing, Sound and Original Score. It would later be named one the best 1 hundred films of all times.

Spielberg married his first wife Amy Irving in 1979, they had one child together, Max. They divorced in 1989.

In 1982, Spielberg's career rocketed with the release of blockbuster hit E.T . It made Spielberg one of the world's best directors. This film gave him his third "Best Director" Oscar nomination. It also showed certain elements Steven experienced as a child. Elliot, to miss school, he put the thermometer up against a lightbulb, Steven did that to edit movies he had made over the weekend. " The movies I make have to pass through me before they get to the screen". E.T is the movie closest to Spielberg's own sensibilities.

In 1984, Spielberg created his own production company. He called it Amblin, after his first professional film. At this time Spielberg was one of the richest men in Hollywood. With the creation of Amblin, Spielberg began to produce a wide range of films and T.V series, such as Cape Fear, Tiny Toons and E.R, etc. Amblin quickly became one of the most profitable companies in Hollywood. Spielberg still continues to produce films independently, such as "Gremlins", "Twister", and "Back to the Future".

While casting for "Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom", Spielberg met Cate Capshaw. Capshaw was cast in the leading role and married Spielberg seven years later, in 1991. They had three children together, they adopted two and both had one child from a previous marriage.

In 1994, Dreamworks SKG became the first new movie studio in Hollywood in over 75 years. The partnership between Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen formed a media company that would reach into the fields of live action, animated films, movies, music and video games and television production and movie distribution. Spielberg owns 22% of Dreamworks, 50% of restaurant chain Dive!, and 15% of Internet content, idealab. These give Spielberg an estimated value of one billion dollars.

Spielberg has worked with hundreds of actors, actresses, directors, producers and make up artists, but still remains a modest and private person. He is one the most respected people in the history of television and movies. At the age of 53 he is still enjoying in credibly successful career, a happy family life and large wealth. I hope that he continues to produce and direct such great movies as Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, and the all time classic, E.T. Congratulations Mr. Spielberg, for your influence on this century and millennium.

For some awesome links, check out these cool sites!

Steven Speilberg Biography  - This site has tons of cool info on Steven's movies .

Scruffles' Steven Speilberg Page -This page is great for learning about Spielberg's life

Spielberg's Jewishness - This has a lot of info on Spielberg's childhood.