National Film Registry Writers

by majfoalbkeopaza | created - 06 May 2018 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine ...

One Week (1920) (written by)(as 'Buster' Keaton) - 2008 Cops (1922) (written by)(as 'Buster' Keaton) - 1997 The General (1926) (written by) - 1989 A Night at the Opera (1935) (uncredited) - 1993

2. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

3. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Ran

After training as a painter (he storyboards his films as full-scale paintings), Kurosawa entered the film industry in 1936 as an assistant director, eventually making his directorial debut with Sanshiro Sugata (1943). Within a few years, Kurosawa had achieved sufficient stature to allow him greater...

The Magnificent Seven (1960)(screenplay "Shichinin no samurai")(uncredited) - 2013

4. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...

Citizen Kane (1941) (original screen play) - 1989 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (script writer) - 1991 The Lady from Shanghai (1947) (screenplay) - 2018 Touch of Evil (1958) (screenplay) - 1993

5. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

Annie Hall (1977) (written by) - 1992 Manhattan (1979) (written by) - 2001

6. Dan Aykroyd

Writer | Blues Brothers 2000

Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where...

Ghostbusters (1984) (written by) - 2015

7. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

The Terminator (1984) (written by) - 2008 Titanic (1997) (written by) - 2017

8. John Carpenter

Soundtrack | Escape from New York

John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...

Halloween (1978) (screenplay) - 2006

9. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

The Immigrant (1917) (written by) - 1998 The Kid (1921) (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin) - 2011 The Gold Rush (1925) (written by) - 1992 City Lights (1931) (written by) - 1991 Modern Times (1936) (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin) - 1989 The Great Dictator (1940) (written by) - 1997

10. Stephen King

Writer | Maximum Overdrive

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock," but used the last name ...

The Shining (1980) (novel) - 2018 The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (short story "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption") - 2015

11. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967) (written by) - 2010 American Graffiti (1973) (written by) - 1995 Star Wars (1977) (written by) - 1989 The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (story by) - 2010 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (story by) - 1999

12. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

Eraserhead (1977) (written by) - 2004

13. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

Mean Streets (1973) (story/screenplay) - 1997 Goodfellas (1990) (screenplay) - 2000

14. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

15. Sylvester Stallone

Actor | Rocky

This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of ...

Rocky (1976) (written by) - 2006

16. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

Pulp Fiction (1994) (stories/written by) - 2013

17. Robert Altman

Director | Gosford Park

Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started...

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) (screenplay) - 2010

18. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...

The Producers (1967) (written by) - 1996 Blazing Saddles (1974) (screenplay) - 2006 Young Frankenstein (1974) (screen story and screenplay) - 2003

19. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

Patton (1970) (screen story and screenplay) - 2003 The Godfather (1972) (screenplay by) - 1990 The Conversation (1974) (written by) - 1995 The Godfather: Part II (1974) (screenplay by) - 1993 Apocalypse Now (1979) (written by)(as Francis Coppola) - 2000

20. Michael Crichton

Writer | Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards--the final straw came when he ...

Jurassic Park (1993) (novel/screenplay) - 2018

21. Walt Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Flora Disney (née Call) and Elias Disney, a Canadian-born farmer and businessperson. He had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Walt moved with his parents to Kansas City at age seven, where he spent the majority of ...

Steamboat Willie (1928) (uncredited) - 1998

22. John Ford

Director | The Quiet Man

John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, ...

The Quiet Man (1952) (contributing writer) (uncredited) - 2013

23. D.W. Griffith

Director | The Birth of a Nation

David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob "Roaring Jake" Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War veteran. Young Griffith grew up with his father's romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually shape his movies. In 1897 ...

A Corner in Wheat (1909) (uncredited) - 1994 The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) (uncredited) - 2016 The Birth of a Nation (1915) - 1992 Intolerance (1916) (scenario)((titles)(uncredited)) - 1989 Broken Blossoms (1919) (writer) - 1996

24. Curtis Hanson

Director | L.A. Confidential

After small films like The Bedroom Window (1987) and Sweet Kill (1972), Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The River Wild (1994) and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was ...

L.A. Confidential (1997) (screenplay) - 2015

25. Dennis Hopper

Actor | Easy Rider

With an amazing cinematic career of more than five decades, Dennis Hopper was a multi-talented and unconventional actor/director, regarded by many as one of the true "enfants terribles" of Hollywood. Hopper was born on May 17, 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas, to Marjorie Mae (Davis) and James Millard ...

Easy Rider (1969) (written by) - 1998

26. John Hughes

Writer | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

John Hughes was born on February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, USA as John Wilden Hughes Jr. He was a writer, known for Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). He was married to Nancy Hughes. He died on August 6, 2009 in Manhattan, ...

The Breakfast Club (1985) (written by) - 2016 Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (written by) - 2014

27. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

Stranger Than Paradise (1984) (written by) - 2002

28. John Landis

Director | The Blues Brothers

John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes (1970). Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "...

29. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

Fury (1936) (screen play) - 1995

30. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

Do the Right Thing (1989) (written by) - 1999 Malcolm X (1992) (screenplay) - 2010

31. Richard Linklater

Director | Waking Life

Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...

Slacker (1990) (writer) - 2012

32. Terrence Malick

Writer | Days of Heaven

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.

A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen ...

Dirty Harry (1971) (screenplay)(uncredited) - 2012 Badlands (1973) (written by) - 1993 Days of Heaven (1978) (written by) - 2007

33. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Writer | All About Eve

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount ...

Our Daily Bread (1934) (the dialogue)(as Joseph Mankiewicz) - 2015 All About Eve (1950) (written for the screen by) - 1990

34. Edgar Allan Poe

Writer | Eliza Graves

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco ...

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) (story)(as Poe) - 2000 The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) (story) - 2001 House of Usher (1960) (based on "The Fall of The House of Usher") - 2005

35. Roman Polanski

Actor | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933.

His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

Rosemary's Baby (1968) (screenplay) - 2014 Chinatown (1974) (uncredited) - 1991

36. Harold Ramis

Writer | Ghostbusters

Born on November 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, Harold Allen Ramis got his start in comedy as Playboy magazine's joke editor and reviewer. In 1969, he joined Chicago's Second City's Improvisational Theatre Troupe before moving to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" ...

Animal House (1978) (written by) - 2001 Ghostbusters (1984) (written by) - 2015 Groundhog Day (1993) (screenplay) - 2006

37. John Sayles

Writer | Lone Star

A bright child, John Sayles began reading novels before age 9. A Williams grad in 1972, he shunned a corporate career to work various blue-collar jobs, moving to east Boston to take a factory job. He wrote stories and submitted them to various magazines, and the Atlantic Monthly gave him the idea ...

38. William Shakespeare

Writer | M the Movie

William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an ...

Forbidden Planet (1956) (play)(uncredited) - 2013 West Side Story (1961) (play)(uncredited) - 1997

39. Gore Vidal

Actor | Gattaca

Gore Vidal was born Eugene Louis Vidal in 1925 in West Point, New York, to Nina (Gore) and West Point aeronautics instructor and aviation pioneer Eugene Luther Vidal. The Vidals endured a rocky marriage divorcing ten years after Gore's birth. Young Gore spent much of his childhood with his blind ...

Ben-Hur (1959) (contributing writer)(uncredited) - 2004

40. Billy Wilder

Writer | The Apartment

Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...

Midnight (1939) (screenplay) - 2013 Ninotchka (1939) (screen play) - 1990 Ball of Fire (1941) (screen play)(from an original story by) - 2016 Double Indemnity (1944) (screenplay) - 1992 The Lost Weekend (1945) (screen play) - 2011 Sunset Boulevard (1950) (written by) - 1989 Ace in the Hole (1951) (written by) - 2017 Sabrina (1954) (written for the screen by) - 2002 Some Like It Hot (1959) (screenplay) - 1989 The Apartment (1960) (written by) - 1994

41. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...

Young Frankenstein (1974) (screen story and screenplay) - 2003

42. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

Back to the Future (1985) (written by) - 2007

43. Jim Abrahams

Writer | Airplane!

Jim Abrahams was born on May 10, 1944 in Shorewood, Wisconsin, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Airplane! (1980), Top Secret! (1984) and Police Squad! (1982). He is married to Nancy Cocuzzo.

Airplane! (1980) (written for the screen by) - 2010

44. Dario Argento

Writer | Profondo rosso

Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other ...

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by) - 2009

45. Roger Avary

Writer | Lucky Day

Award-winning filmmaker Roger Avary first began experimenting in Beta I video and 8mm film formats during the late 1970s. In 1983, his Super-8mm supernatural thriller The Worm Turns won Best Film from the Los Angeles Film Teachers Association Film Expo. He went on to attend the Pasadena Art Center ...

Pulp Fiction (1994) (stories) - 2013

46. Saul Bass

Director | Why Man Creates

Saul Bass was born in New York City in 1920 and is a widely acclaimed graphic designer with a career spanning over 40 years. Among his most famous works are the title sequences for such classic films as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). Bass used his ...

Why Man Creates (1968) (conceived and written by) - 2002

47. L. Frank Baum

Writer | The Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum became a success with his 1883 production of "The Maid of Arran" in 1882. He was a dreamer, had a printing press and an amateur newspaper, "The Rose Lawn Home Journal" and published a coin and stamp collecting guide. He failed at almost everything through poor business sense. He had ...

The Wizard of Oz (1939) (from the book by) - 1989

48. Robert Benton

Writer | Kramer vs. Kramer

Robert Benton was born on September 29, 1932 in Waxahachie, Texas, USA as Robert Douglas Benton. He is a writer and director, known for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Superman (1978).

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) (written by) - 1992 Superman (1978) (screenplay) - 2017

49. Andrew Bergman

Writer | Striptease

Andrew Bergman was born on February 20, 1945 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Striptease (1996), Blazing Saddles (1974) and Fletch (1985). He has been married to Louise Fay since 1973. They have two children.

Blazing Saddles (1974) (story/screenplay) - 2006

50. Bernardo Bertolucci

Writer | The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (...

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by) - 2009

51. Peter Bogdanovich

Director | The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in Kingston, New York. He is the son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, Herma (Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich, a painter and pianist. His father was a Serbian Orthodox Christian, and his mother was from a rich Austrian Jewish family. Peter ...

The Last Picture Show (1971) (screenplay) - 1998

52. John Boorman

Producer | Excalibur

John Boorman attended Catholic school (Salesian Order) although his family was not, in fact, Roman Catholic. His first job was for a dry-cleaner. Later, he worked as a critic for a women's journal and for a radio station until he entered the television business, working for the BBC in Bristol. ...

Deliverance (1972) (additional dialogue)(uncredited) - 2008

53. Martin Brest

Director | Scent of a Woman

Martin Brest was born on August 8, 1951 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. He is a director and producer, known for Scent of a Woman (1992), Midnight Run (1988) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984).

54. James L. Brooks

Writer | Broadcast News

James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for Broadcast News (1987), As Good as It Gets (1997) and Terms of Endearment (1983). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.

Broadcast News (1987) (written by) - 2018

55. Frank Capra

Director | It's a Wonderful Life

One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you ...

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (screenplay) - 1990

56. John Cassavetes

Actor | Love Streams

John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film, as he often financed his own films.

Cassavetes was born in New York City in 1929, to Nicholas John Cassavetes and his wife Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). Nicholas was...

Shadows (1959) (written by) - 1993 Faces (1968) (written by) - 2011 A Woman Under the Influence (1974) (written by) - 1990

57. Michael Cimino

Writer | The Deer Hunter

Michael Cimino studied architecture and dramatic arts; later he filmed advertisements and documentaries and also wrote scripts until the actor, producer and director Clint Eastwood gave him the opportunity to direct the thriller Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974). But his biggest success was The Deer...

The Deer Hunter (1978) (story) - 1996

58. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta (1920-2014) and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg; 1888-1988) and William Brooks Clift (1886-...

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) (uncredited) - 2013

59. Ethan Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Ethan Jesse Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and A Serious Man (2009). He has been married to Tricia Cooke since October 2, 1990. They have two ...

Fargo (1996) (written by) - 2006 The Big Lebowski (1998) (written by) - 2014

60. Joel Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

Fargo (1996) (written by) - 2006 The Big Lebowski (1998) (written by) - 2014

61. Chris Columbus

Producer | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Ohio, Chris Columbus was first inspired to make movies after seeing "The Godfather" at age 15. After enrolling at NYU film school, he sold his first screenplay (never produced) while a sophomore there. After graduation Columbus tried to sell his fourth script, "...

The Goonies (1985) (screenplay) - 2017

62. Joseph Cotten

Actor | The Third Man

Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia, into a well-to-do Southern family. He was the eldest of three sons born to Sally Whitworth (Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., an assistant postmaster.

Jo (as he was known) and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their...

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (additional scenes)(uncredited) - 1991

63. Cameron Crowe

Writer | Almost Famous

Certainly idiosyncratic as a writer, Cameron Crowe has created a series of scripts that, while liked by the critics, were considered offbeat and difficult to market.

Cameron Bruce Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California, to Alice Marie Crowe (née George), a teacher and activist, and James A. ...

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) (book/screenplay) - 2005

64. Roald Dahl

Writer | The Witches

Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. He served as a fighter pilot in the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He made a forced landing in the Libyan Desert and was severely injured. As a result, he spent five months in a Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. Dahl is known for how he ...

65. Frank Darabont

Writer | The Green Mile

Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbeliard, France, the son of Hungarian parents who had fled Budapest during the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution. Brought to America as an infant, he settled with his family in Los Angeles and attended Hollywood High ...

66. Philip K. Dick

Writer | Blade Runner

Philip Kindred Dick was born in Chicago in December 1928, along with a twin sister, Jane. Jane died less than eight weeks later, allegedly from an allergy to mother's milk. Dick's parents split up during his childhood, and he moved with his mother to Berkeley, California, where he lived for most of...

Blade Runner (1982) (novel) - 1993

67. Blake Edwards

Writer | The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Blake Edwards' stepfather's father J. Gordon Edwards was a silent screen director, and his stepfather Jack McEdward was a stage director and movie production manager. Blake acted in a number films, beginning with Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) and wrote a number of others, beginning with ...

The Pink Panther (1963) (screenplay) - 2010

68. Douglas Fairbanks

Actor | Robin Hood

Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver, Colorado, to Ella Adelaide (nee Marsh) and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, an attorney and native of Pennsylvania, who was a captain for the Union forces during the Civil War. Fairbanks' paternal grandparents were German Jewish immigrants, ...

The Mark of Zorro (1920) (scenario)(uncredited) - 2009 The Thief of Bagdad (1924) (story)(as Elton Thomas) - 1996 The Black Pirate (1926) (story)(as Elton Thomas) - 1993

69. William Faulkner

Writer | To Have and Have Not

William Faulkner, one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists, wrote for the movies in part because he could not make enough money from his novels and short stories to support his growing number of dependants. The author of such acclaimed novels as "The Sound and the Fury" and "Absalom, Absalom...

Gunga Din (1939) (contributing writer)(uncredited) - 1999 Mildred Pierce (1945) (contract writer)(uncredited) - 1996 The Big Sleep (1946) (screen play) - 1997

70. W.C. Fields

Actor | It's a Gift

William Claude Dukenfield was the eldest of five children born to Cockney immigrant James Dukenfield and Philadelphia native Kate Felton. He went to school for four years, then quit to work with his father selling vegetables from a horse cart. At eleven, after many fights with his alcoholic father ...

It's a Gift (1934) (based upon a story by)(as Charles Bogle) - 2010 The Bank Dick (1940) (original screen play)(as Mahatma Kane Jeeves) - 1992

71. Peter Fonda

Actor | Easy Rider

Peter Henry Fonda was born in New York City, to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw. He is the brother of actress Jane Fonda and the father of actress Bridget Fonda. Fonda made his professional stage debut on Broadway in 1961 in Blood, Sweat and Stanley ...

Easy Rider (1969) (written by) - 1998

72. John Frankenheimer

Director | The Manchurian Candidate

Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he ...

73. William Goldman

Writer | Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Screenwriter, novelist, playwright, non-fiction author. Born in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, began his career as a novelist in 1957. Started writing screenplays in 1965 with "Masquerade". A two-time Academy Award Winner, he is one of the most successful screenwriters and script doctors in ...

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (written by) - 2003 All the President's Men (1976) (screenplay) - 2010 The Princess Bride (1987) (book/screenplay) - 2016

74. Christopher Guest

Actor | This Is Spinal Tap

U.S.-born actor, director, writer, musician, and composer best known for his mockumentaries, poking fun at heavy metal music, small town theatre, dog shows, folk music and film-making itself, Christopher Haden-Guest was born February fifth, 1948, in New York City. His mother, Jean Pauline (Hindes),...

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) (written by) - 2002

75. Oliver Hardy

Actor | Sons of the Desert

Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began ...

Sons of the Desert (1933) (uncredited) - 2012

76. Howard Hawks

Director | Red River

What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...

Scarface (1932) (uncredited) - 1994 Only Angels Have Wings (1939) (story "Plane from Barranca")(uncredited) The Thing from Another World (1951) (uncredited) - 2001

77. Brian Helgeland

Writer | A Knight's Tale

Brian Helgeland was born on January 17, 1961 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA as Brian Thomas Helgeland. He is a writer and director, known for A Knight's Tale (2001), Man on Fire (2004) and 42 (2013).

L.A. Confidential (1997) (screenplay) - 2015

78. John Huston

Director | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English,...

Jezebel (1938) (screen play) - 2009 Wuthering Heights (1939) (contributing writer)(uncredited) - 2007 Sergeant York (1941) (original screen play) - 2008 The Maltese Falcon (1941) (screen play by) - 1989 The Battle of San Pietro (1945) (uncredited) - 1991 The Killers (1946) (uncredited) - 2008 Let There Be Light (1946) - 2010 The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) (screenplay) - 1990 The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (screen play) - 2008 The African Queen (1951) (adapted for the screen by) - 1994

79. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson (no relation to Joe Jackson, also a musician), had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Michael's ...

80. Lawrence Kasdan

Writer | The Big Chill

Lawrence Kasdan was born on January 14, 1949 in Miami, Florida, USA as Lawrence Edward Kasdan. He is a writer and producer, known for The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). He has been married to Meg Kasdan since November 28, 1971. They have two children.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (screenplay by) - 2010 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (screenplay by) - 1999

81. Elia Kazan

Director | On the Waterfront

Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...

Gentleman's Agreement (1947) (screenplay revision)(uncredited) - 2017 America America (1963) (written by) - 2001

82. Charles Laughton

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...

The Night of the Hunter (1955) (screenplay contributor)(uncredited) - 1992

83. Elmore Leonard

Writer | Out of Sight

Elmore Leonard was born on October 11, 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Elmore John Leonard Jr. He was a writer and producer, known for Out of Sight (1998), Get Shorty (1995) and Justified (2010). He was married to Christine Kent, Joan Shepard and Beverly Claire Cline. He died on August 20, ...

The Tall T (1957) (based on a story by) - 2000 3:10 to Yuma (1957) (story) - 2012

84. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (from a story by/screenplay by) - 2009

85. Barry Levinson

Director | Rain Man

Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he ...

Tootsie (1982) (uncredited) - 1998

86. Jerry Lewis

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) was an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...

The Nutty Professor (1963) (written by) - 2004

87. Rick Moranis

Actor | Parenthood

Rick began his career as a radio DJ while he was still at high school which led to him writing, producing and being on air in his own show. He joined the Canadian TV series SCTV (1976) winning an Emmy for writing and portraying the character Bob McKenzie which became the basis for the film _Strange...

Ghostbusters (1984) (uncredited) - 2015

88. Errol Morris

Director | The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

His documentaries helped spur a rebirth of non-fiction film in the 80s & garnered wide critical success. But until 2003's "The Fog of War," Morris was shunned by the Academy Awards.

Morris' first two films won much acclaim (Gates of Heaven (1978) and Vernon, Florida (1981)). In the second movie, ...

89. Sam Peckinpah

Writer | The Wild Bunch

"If they move", commands stern-eyed William Holden, "kill 'em". So begins The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah's bloody, high-body-count eulogy to the mythologized Old West. "Pouring new wine into the bottle of the Western, Peckinpah explodes the bottle", observed critic Pauline Kael. That ...

One-Eyed Jacks (1961) (uncredited) - 2018 Ride the High Country (1962) (uncredited) - 1992 The Wild Bunch (1969) (screenplay) - 1999

90. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...

Blazing Saddles (1974) (screenplay) - 2006

91. Rob Reiner

Actor | All in the Family

Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner.

As a child, he often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which he created and also starred in....

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) (written by) - 2002

92. Robert Rodriguez

Producer | El mariachi

Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.

Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...

El mariachi (1992) (written by) - 2011

93. George A. Romero

Writer | Land of the Dead

George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...

Night of the Living Dead (1968) (screenplay)(as George Romero) - 1999

94. Paul Schrader

Writer | First Reformed

Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's background couldn't have been more different than theirs. His strict Calvinist parents refused to allow him to see a...

Taxi Driver (1976) (written by) - 1994 Raging Bull (1980) (screenplay) - 1990

95. Steven Soderbergh

Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...

96. Robert Towne

Writer | Chinatown

Writer, director, producer, actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro. Got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman. Came into his own during the 1970s when he was regarded as one of the finest ...

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) (uncredited) - 1992 Chinatown (1974) (written by) - 1991

97. Peter Ustinov

Actor | Spartacus

Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.

He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, ...

Spartacus (1960) (uncredited) - 2017

98. Steven Zaillian

Writer | Schindler's List

Steven Zaillian was born on January 30, 1953 in Fresno, California, USA as Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian. He is a writer and producer, known for Schindler's List (1993), A Civil Action (1998) and Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993).

Schindler's List (1993) (screenplay) - 2004

99. David Zucker

Writer | Airplane!

David Zucker was born on October 16, 1947 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Airplane! (1980), Scary Movie 4 (2006) and Top Secret! (1984). He has been married to Danielle Zucker since May 1997. They have two children.

Airplane! (1980) (written for the screen by) - 2010

100. Peter Benchley

Writer | Jaws

Grandson of famed humorist and actor Robert Benchley and the son of highly respected children's books author Nathaniel Benchley, novelist Peter Benchley's book were decidedly more dramatic in their content and style than his father's, and usually centered on the world's oceans as a backdrop to his ...

Jaws (1975) (based on the novel by/screenplay) - 2001



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