Inspirational people. People I admire.

by nicesegue | created - 28 Dec 2013 | updated - 01 May 2014 | Public

1. Jerry Stahl

Actor | Zoolander

Jerry Stahl was born on September 28, 1953 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Zoolander (2001), Inland Empire (2006) and Bad Boys II (2003). He is married to Elizabeth. He was previously married to Brandy Alexander.

2. Martin Luther King

Soundtrack | Freedom Writers

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Alberta Christine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Martin Luther King Sr. a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six ...

3. 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, ...

4. Michael Bay

Producer | Armageddon

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...

5. Chris Hardwick

Producer | Talking Dead

Chris Hardwick was born on November 23, 1971 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Christopher Ryan Hardwick. He is a producer and actor, known for Talking Dead (2011), @midnight (2013) and The Wall (2016). He has been married to Lydia Hearst since August 20, 2016.

6. Moby

Soundtrack | The Saint

Richard Melville Hall was born September 11, 1965, in the Manhattan, New York City, in the Harlem neighborhood to Elizabeth McBride (née Warner) and James Frederick Hall. His mother was a medical secretary and his father a professor of chemistry. The nickname Moby was assigned by his father, and ...

7. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

8. Barack Obama

Producer | Exit West

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a white American from Wichita, Kansas. His father, Barack Obama Sr., who was black, was from Alego, Kenya. They were both young college students at the University of Hawaii. When his father left...

9. Conan O'Brien

Writer | Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in Massachusetts. At an early age, he developed a love of comedy and goofing off, this carried on when he entered the prestigious Harvard University, acting out many pranks in his time, as well as become the president of the Harvard humor ...

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 ...

11. Derek Cianfrance

Director | Blue Valentine

Derek Cianfrance began making movies at age 13. He later attended The University of Colorado where he studied under avant-garde film legends Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. His first three films, 'Five O'clock Shadow', 'Raw Footage', and Brother Tied (1998), won consecutive Goldfarb Awards for best...

12. Tony Scott

Producer | Domino

Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British...

RIP, Tony.

13. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

14. Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Director | The Kings of Summer

Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a director and producer, known for The Kings of Summer (2013), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Successful Alcoholics (2010).

15. Mark Wahlberg

Producer | The Fighter

American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to acclaimed actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed (2006) who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter (...

Started off as a violent street punk, but he was able to turn his life around and is now helping folks in need. I respect that.

16. Tom Cruise

Actor | Top Gun

In 1976, if you had told fourteen-year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. ...

17. Nicolas Cage

Actor | Face/Off

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish and German (mother) descent. Cage changed his...

18. Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor | Inception

Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains (1985) and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3 (1991), to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s,...

19. Wei Zhao

Actress | Hua Mulan

Wei Zhao was born in Wuhu, Anhui province. She is the second child of her family. Because she is the only girl, Zhao's father named her Wei, literally "Rose". Her father was a senior engineer, her mother was a music teacher.

After filming A Soul Haunted By Painting (1994) as a figurant, Wei Zhao was...

20. 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 ...

21. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...

22. Adrian Lyne

Director | Jacob's Ladder

Adrian Lyne (Director/Writer/Producer) is the creative force behind some of the most talked-about movies of our time, among them, "Fatal Attraction", "9 1/2 Weeks", "Flashdance", "Indecent Proposal", "Jacob's Ladder" and "Unfaithful".

Born in Peterborough, England and raised in London, Lyne attended...

23. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

24. Jerry Bruckheimer

Producer | Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Jerry Bruckheimer is a film and television producer born on September 21, 1943 in Detroit. He graduated from high school in 1961 before it was moving to Arizona. He started his career in 1968 to produce television commercials and advertising for the firm BBD&O in New York.

He left the commercial ...

25. Nansun Shi

Producer | Double Team

Nansun Shi was born in Hong Kong. She is known for her work on Double Team (1997), Infernal Affairs (2002) and Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010). She was previously married to Hark Tsui.

26. John Woo

Director | Ying hung boon sik

Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow ...

27. Eddie Izzard

Actor | Ocean's Thirteen

Best-known for his surreal and digressive stand-up, British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was born on February 7, 1962, in Aden, Yemen, where his English parents -- Dorothy Ella, a nurse and midwife, and Harold John Izzard, an accountant -- worked for British Petroleum.

Izzard worked as a street ...

28. Ricky Gervais

Writer | The Office

Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and ...

29. David Koepp

Writer | Jurassic Park

David Koepp was born on June 9, 1963 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is known for his work on Jurassic Park (1993), Stir of Echoes (1999) and Spider-Man (2002).

30. Alex Kurtzman

Producer | Sleepy Hollow

Alex Kurtzman was born on September 7, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Alexander Hilary Kurtzman. He is a producer and writer, known for Sleepy Hollow (2013), Star Trek (2009) and The Mummy (2017). He is married to Samantha Counter.

31. Steve Jablonsky

Composer | Transformers

Steve Jablonsky was born on October 9, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is known for his work on Transformers (2007), Desperate Housewives (2004) and Deepwater Horizon (2016).

32. Trevor Rabin

Composer | Deep Blue Sea

Trevor Rabin was born in South Africa in 1954. He began playing guitar at the age of 12 after having had piano lessons since he was a toddler. In 1972 he formed the band Rabbit becoming the most successful rock act ever to emerge from South Africa. Rabin left Rabbit to pursue a solo career in ...

33. Hans Zimmer

Composer | Gladiator

German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to ...

34. Kathleen Kennedy

Producer | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Kathleen Kennedy worked in San Diego local television, spending years at KCST before moving to Los Angeles, where she was approached by John Milius as an assistant, and she met Steven Spielberg during the production of 1941 (1979). Both later reported that she was lacking as a typist but had good ...

35. 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 ...

36. Matt Damon

Actor | Good Will Hunting

Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and ...

37. Ben Seresin

Cinematographer | Unstoppable

Ben Seresin was born in New Zealand. He is known for his work on Unstoppable (2010), World War Z (2013) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001).

38. John Schwartzman

Cinematographer | Seabiscuit

John Schwartzman was born on October 18, 1960 in Los Angeles, California, USA as John Marc Schwartzman. He is known for his work on Seabiscuit (2003), Pearl Harbor (2001) and Armageddon (1998).

39. Mitchell Amundsen

Cinematographer | Transformers

Mitchell "Mitch" Amundsen grew up in Larkspur in Marin County outside of San Francisco. During his high school years he became interested in still photography and studied film at the Montana State University in Bozeman. There, he took classes on motion pictures, which sparked his interest in ...

40. Hark Tsui

Producer | Di renjie: Tong tian di guo

Tsui Hark recently became the fourth Chinese film director to join the board of judges for the 57th Cannes Film Festival in the feature films category this year.

An internationally acclaimed visionary director, Hark started making experimental movies with 8mm film when he was only 13. After ...

41. Yun-Fat Chow

Actor | Wo hu cang long

Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo.

Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the ...

42. Brendan Gleeson

Actor | The Guard

Brendan Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Pat and Frank Gleeson. From a very young age, he loved to learn, especially reading classical text in and outside the classroom. He took great attention to Irish play writers such as Samuel Beckett, which eventually led to him performing in his high ...

43. Robbie Coltrane

Actor | Cracker

Robbie Coltrane, one of Britain's most popular comedians who was head of debating society at school and won prizes for his art, is now a film star who played in two James Bond films and in the "Harry Potter" franchise.

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a ...

44. Pierce Brosnan

Actor | The World Is Not Enough

Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, to May (Smith), a nurse, and Thomas Brosnan, a carpenter. He lived in Navan, County Meath, until he moved to England, UK, at an early age (thus explaining his ability to play men from both backgrounds convincingly). His father left...



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