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Steven Spielberg

DOB: December 18, 1946

Background: Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He directed 8mm films during his early teens, one of which earned him a photography merit badge while in the Boy Scouts. He directed a 40-minute film called "Escape to Nowhere" at age thirteen and a 140-minute sci-fi feature film when he was sixteen, but he was rejected twice by the USC's School of Theater, Film, and Television. Instead, he worked as an unpaid intern for Universal Studios.

Filmography: He directed short films and TV programs -- including episodes of "Marcus Welby, MD" and "Columbo" and  his breakthrough TV movie "Duel" -- before making his feature debut with "The Sugarland Express" (1974). Immediately thereafter he helmed two iconic films that made one of Hollywood's most popular filmmakers: the aquatic thriller "Jaws" (1975) and the sci-fi film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977). His next film, the World War II farce "1941" (1979), was profitable, but considered a disappointment after his previous two hits.

But he rebounded from that film with another pair of blockbusters: "Raiders of the Lost Arc" (1981) and "E.T." (1982), both of which received Oscar nominations for Best Picture. During the remainder of the 1980s he directed two "Raiders" sequels -- "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984) and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) -- as well as the acclaimed drama "The Color Purple" (1985), which earned eleven Oscar noms, "Empire of the Sun" (1987), and "Always" (1989).

In 1991, he directed Robin Williams as a middle-aged Peter Pan in "Hook," which received mixed reviews but was a box office hit. "Jurassic Park" and "Schindler's List," two of his most famous films, were both released in 1993; Spielberg won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for "List." He would direct a sequel to "Jurassic Park," "The Lost World" (1997), and the slavery drama "Amistad" (1997) before winning his second directing Oscar for the 1998 war film "Saving Private Ryan."

He started the 21st Century with the science-fiction film "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001), a project he took over after the death of Stanley Kubrick. The film received mixed reviews, and relatively soft North American box office for Spielberg, but it performed well overseas. He followed that film with another sci-fi thriller, "Minority Report" (2002), and the period drama "Catch Me if You Can" (also 2002) about real-life con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. "The Terminal" was a moderate success in 2004, but "War of the Worlds" (2005) was another blockbuster hit. That same year he directed "Munich," about the 1972 massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes. On the strength of strong reviews the film earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Most recently he made a fourth "Indiana Jones" film, "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008), another major commercial success.

Spielberg directed two films released in 2011: the World War I-set drama "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin," his first animated venture, made with the same performance-capture technology that James Cameron used in "Avatar."

Academy Awards: Wins - Best Picture ("Schindler's List," 1994); Best Director ("Saving Private Ryan," 1999; "Schindler's List," 1994); Irving Thalberg Memorial Award (1987)

Best Picture Nominations
"Lincoln" (2012); lost to "Argo"
"War Horse" (2011); lost to "The Artist"
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (2007); lost to "The Departed"
"Munich" (2006); lost to "Crash"
"Saving Private Ryan" (1999); lost to "Shakespeare in Love"
"The Color Purple" (1986); lost to "Out of Africa"
"E.T." (1983); lost to "Gandhi"

Best Director Nominations
"Lincoln" (2012); lost to Ang Lee ("Life of Pi")
"Munich" (2006); lost to Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain")
"E.T." (1983); lost to Richard Attenborough ("Gandhi")
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1982); lost to Warren Beatty ("Reds")
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1978); lost to Woody Allen ("Annie Hall")

Emmy Awards: Wins - Best TV Miniseries ("The Pacific," 2010; "Taken," 2003; "Band of Brothers," 2002); Best Animated Program ("A Pinky & the Brain Christmas," 1996)

Best TV Miniseries Nomination
"Into the West" (2006); lost to "Elizabeth I"

Best Nonfiction Special Nomination
"We Stand Alone Together" (2002); lost to "9/11"

Best Animated Program Nominations
"Tiny Toons' Night Ghoulery" (1995); lost to "The Simpsons"
"Tiny Toon Adventures" (1991); lost to "The Simpsons

Best Drama Directing Nomination
"Amazing Stories" (1986); lost to Georg Stanford Brown ("Cagney & Lacey")

Golden Globes: Wins - Best Film Drama ("Saving Private Ryan," 1999); Best Film Drama ("Schindler's List," 1994); Best Film Drama ("E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," 1983); Best Film Director ("Saving Private Ryan," 1999); Best Film Director ("Schindler's List," 1994); Best Animated Feature Film ("The Adventures of Tintin," 2012); Best TV Movie/Miniseries ("Band of Brothers," 2002); Cecil B. DeMille Life Achievement Award (2009)

Best Film Drama Nominations
"Lincoln" (2013); lost to "Argo"
"War Horse" (2012); lost to "The Descendants"
"Amistad" (1998); lost to "Titanic"
"Empire of the Sun" (1988); lost to "The Last Emperor"
"The Color Purple" (1986); lost to "Out of Africa"
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1978); lost to "The Turning Point"
"Jaws" (1976); lost to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Best Film Director Nominations
"Lincoln" (2013); lost to Ben Affleck ("Argo")
"Munich" (2006); lost to Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain")
"A.I.: Artificial Intelligence" (2002); lost to Robert Altman ("Gosford Park")
"Amistad" (1998); lost to James Cameron ("Titanic")
"The Color Purple" (1986); lost to John Huston ("Prizzi's Honor")
"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1983); lost to Richard Attenborough ("Ghandi")
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1982); lost to Warren Beatty ("Reds")
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1978); lost to Herbert Ross ("The Turning Point")
"Jaws" (1976); lost to Milos Forman ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")

Best Film Screenplay Nomination
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1978); lost to Neil Simon ("The Goodbye Girl")

Best TV Comedy/Musical Series Nomination
"Smash" (2013); lost to "Girls"

Best TV Movie/Miniseries Nomination
"The Pacific" (2011); lost to "Carlos"


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