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Spielberg, Steven


SPIELBERG, STEVEN (1946– ), film director, writer, producer. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spielberg began his career early in his youth, directing home movies. At age 13 he entered and won his first contest with a 40-minute war film. While attending California State College, he directed five films and made his professional debut with a 24-minute short, Amblin, which was shown at the 1969 Atlanta Film Festival. Its success led to a contract with Universal Studios that soon found Spielberg directing movies for television such as Duel (1971) and Something Evil (1972). His debut as a feature film director was Sugarland Express (1974). Spielberg followed this with a series of some of the most successful motion pictures in cinema history, including Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Oscar nomination for Best Director, 1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (Oscar nomination for Best Director, 1981), E.T. (Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture, 1982), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Always (1989), and Jurassic Park (1993). Spielberg also attempted more serious cinematic fare with The Color Purple (Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987), but neither of these films prepared the movie-going public for Schindler's List (1993), a brilliant and devastating portrait of Oskar *Schindler, an Austrian industrialist who saved more than 1,000 Polish Jews during the Holocaust. Schindler's List won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Picture as well as delivered an Oscar to Spielberg for Best Director. In 1990 the Academy of the Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences presented Spielberg with the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award for his ongoing contribution to the Excellence of Cinema. Spielberg's subsequent directorial efforts include Amistad (1997), Saving Private Ryan (Oscar winner for Best Director and nomination for Best Picture, 1998), The Unfinished Journey (1999), Artificial Intelligence: ai (2001), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), and War of the Worlds (2005).

Spielberg, who also wears a producer's hat, has released more than 100 films and television features since 1978. In 1995 he co-founded the production company Dream Works skg with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. In addition to producing many of the films he directed, Spielberg was the producer of such films as I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Continental Divide (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Back to the Future (1985), The Money Pit (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), The Flintstones (1994), Men in Black (1997), The Mask of Zorro (1998), the tv series Band of Brothers (Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-series 2001) and Taken (Emmy for Outstanding Mini-series, 2002), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).

Spielberg was married to actress Amy *Irving from 1985 to 1989. Since 1991 he has been married to actress Kate Capshaw.


F. Sanello, Spielberg: The Man, the Movies, the Mythology (1996); J. McBride, Steven Spielberg: A Biography (1997); S. Rubin, Steven Spielberg: Crazy for Movies (2001); I. Freer et al., The Complete Spielberg (2001).

[Jonathan Licht /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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