Most Influential People in the History of the Movies

by JuliusGaleano | created - 29 Jul 2013 | updated - 17 Oct 2013 | Public

Most Powerfol People in the History of the Movies

1. William K.L. Dickson

Cinematographer | Sandow

Born in France to British parents, William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson stayed in that country until age 19, when he, his mother and sisters (their father had died sometime before) returned to Great Britain. Once there, Dickson--in an early indication of his lifelong fascination with science and ...

2. Edwin S. Porter

Director | The White Pearl

In the late 1890s Porter worked as both a projectionist and mechanic, eventually becoming director and cameraman for the Edison Manufacturing Company. Influenced by both the "Brighton school" and the story films of Georges Méliès, Porter went on to make important shorts such as Life of an American ...

3. 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 ...

4. Mary Pickford

Actress | Coquette

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Marie Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater ...

5. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father, Richard Head Welles, was a well-to-do inventor, his mother, Beatrice (Ives) Welles, a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died in 1924 (when he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. He was ...

6. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

7. 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 ...

8. 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 ...

9. Will H. Hays

The Clinging Vine

First President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association of America, Will H. Hays had a distinguished career as a politician before that, most notably as Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1918-21) and as U.S. Postmaster General under Warren Harding (1921-22). As ...

10. Thomas A. Edison

Director | The Trick Cyclist

Thomas A. Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, USA as Thomas Alva Edison. He was a producer and director, known for silent movies such as, The Trick Cyclist (1901), The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) and Bicycle Trick Riding, No. 2 (1899). He also produced the first American film ...

11. John Wayne

Actor | True Grit

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry.

Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, ...

12. John Randolph Bray

Producer | Jewel of Asia

John Randolph Bray was born on August 25, 1879 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was a producer and director, known for Jewel of Asia (1937), Let's Talk Turkey (1936) and Wildman's Land (1937). He was married to Margaret Bray. He died on October 10, 1978 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA.

13. G.W. Bitzer

Cinematographer | Logging in Maine

G.W. Bitzer was born on April 21, 1872 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA as Johann Gottlob Wilhelm Bitzer. He was a cinematographer and director, known for Logging in Maine (1906), Intolerance (1916) and A Ballroom Tragedy (1905). He was married to Ethel Boddy. He died on April 29, 1944 in Hollywood, ...

14. Jesse L. Lasky

Producer | Beau Geste

Lasky, one of the first pioneers of the Hollywood film industry and its first genuine 'mogul', was not only a consummate showman and entrepreneur, but a jack-of-all-trades. Born in San Francisco in September 1880, the son of a shoe salesman, he attended high school in San Jose and held down his ...

15. George Eastman

Producer | Cannibals of the South Seas

George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854 in Waterville, New York, USA. He was a producer, known for Cannibals of the South Seas (1912) and Across the World with Mr. and Mrs. Martin Johnson (1930). He died on March 14, 1932 in Rochester, New York.

16. Sergei M. Eisenstein

Director | Aleksandr Nevskiy

The son of an affluent architect, Eisenstein attended the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd as a young man. With the fall of the tsar in 1917, he worked as an engineer for the Red Army. In the following years, Eisenstein joined up with the Moscow Proletkult Theater as a set designer and ...

17. André Bazin

Actor | La sonate à Kreutzer

André Bazin was born on April 8, 1918 in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France. He was an actor and writer, known for The Kreutzer Sonata (1956) and Le film de Bazin (2017). He was married to Janine Bazin. He died on November 11, 1958 in Nogent-sur-Marne, Seine [now Val-de-Marne], France.

18. Irving Thalberg

Producer | The Tower of Lies

Irving Grant Thalberg was born in New York City, to Henrietta (Haymann) and William Thalberg, who were of German Jewish descent. He had a bad heart, having contracted rheumatic fever as a teenager and was plagued with other ailments all of his life. He was quite intelligent with a thirst for ...

19. Thomas H. Ince

Producer | The Devil

Thomas H. Ince was born into a family of stage actors. He appeared on the stage at age six and worked with a number of stock companies, making his Broadway debut at 15. Vaudeville work was inconsistent, so he was a lifeguard, a promoter and part-time actor. His stage career was a failure but by ...

20. Marlon Brando

Actor | Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in ...

21. Louis B. Mayer

Producer | The Great Secret

Mayer was born Lazar Meir in the Ukraine and grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after his parents fled Russian oppression in 1886. He had a brutal childhood, raised in poverty and suffering physical and emotional abuse from his nearly-illiterate peddler father. In the early 1890s, he ...

22. Greta Garbo

Actress | Ninotchka

Greta Garbo was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Anna Lovisa (Johansdotter), who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer. She was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and ...

23. Robert J. Flaherty

Director | Louisiana Story

Robert J. Flaherty was born on February 16, 1884 in Iron Mountain, Michigan, USA as Robert Joseph Flaherty. He was a director and writer, known for Louisiana Story (1948), Man of Aran (1934) and Elephant Boy (1937). He was married to Frances H. Flaherty. He died on July 23, 1951 in Brattleboro, ...

24. Lon Chaney

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Although his parents were deaf, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in The ...

25. Anita Loos

Writer | Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

While she is now best known for her book "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Anita Loos was one of Hollywood's foremost early screenwriters. She began writing screen scenarios for the 'Biograph Company' at an early age (though not 12, as she later claimed), and the first to be produced, The New York Hat (...

26. Georges Méliès

Director | À la conquête du pôle

Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and film director famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema.

Méliès was an especially prolific innovator in the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, ...

27. Adolph Zukor

Producer | Beau Geste

Adolph Zukor's success began with penny arcades, offering moving peepshows that evolved into nickelodeon theaters that offered longer, larger moving pictures. On July 12, 1912, he premiered the first feature-length film, Queen Elizabeth (1912), featuring French actress Sarah Bernhardt that ran for ...

28. John Gilbert

Actor | Flesh and the Devil

John Gilbert was born into a show-business family - his father was a comic with the Pringle Stock Company. By 1915 John was an extra with Thomas H. Ince's company and a lead player by 1917. In those days he was assistant director, actor or screenwriter. He also tried his hand at directing. By 1919 ...

29. Max Fleischer

Producer | The Tantalizing Fly

Max Fleischer was born on July 19, 1883 in Krakau, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland]. He was a producer and actor, known for The Tantalizing Fly (1919), The Circus (1920) and Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936). He was married to Essie Goldstein. He died on ...

30. 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, ...

31. William Fox

Producer | 7th Heaven

Starting at the age 8 he had a series of jobs before starting his own business in 1900, which was sold to buy a Brooklyn nickelodeon in 1904. As the new owner with an empty house, Fox hired a coin manipulator and a barker to attract patrons into the dark 146-seat theatre. Once audiences adequately ...

32. 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 ...

33. Linwood G. Dunn

Visual_effects | West Side Story

Linwood G. Dunn was born on December 27, 1904 in New York City, New York, USA as Linwood Gale Dunn. He is known for his work on West Side Story (1961), The Thing from Another World (1951) and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963). He was married to Alice Dunn. He died on May 15, 1998 in Los Angeles, ...

34. Eadweard Muybridge

Director | Child Bringing Bouquet to Woman

Eadweard Muybridge's great breakthrough came in 1872 when he was hired by wealthy American businessman Leland Stanford, for whom Stanford University is named. Stanford was interested in whether horses lifted all legs off the ground at once during trotting and Muybridge was engaged to take ...

35. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut to a suffragist and a doctor who both always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was very close to her brother Tom; at 14 she was ...

36. Winsor McCay

Writer | Gertie the Dinosaur

Like many pioneers, the work of 'Winsor McCay' has been largely superseded by successors such as Walt Disney and Max Fleischer but he more than earns a place in film history for being the American cinema's first great cartoon animator. He started out as a newspaper cartoonist, achieving a national ...

37. Stanley Kubrick

Writer | 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 ...

38. 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 ...

39. James Agee

Writer | The African Queen

James Agee, Pulitzer Prize winning author, was born in Knoxville in 1909. The intense writer was to enjoy little real success in his lifetime, but after death won accolades. In 1958 he won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his uncompleted biographical novel A Death in the Family. Agee also wrote ...

40. 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. ...

41. Marcus Loew

Producer | The Saphead

His film resume belies the fact that he was the most important man in motion pictures at the time of his death. Born as Max Loew in New York City to a poverty-stricken Viennese waiter, his life could've easily gone the the way of many boys of the east side slums, except that he was ...

42. Cedric Gibbons

Art_director | Gaslight

After graduating from New York's Art Students League he worked for his architect father, then started film work at Edison Studios in 1915 assisting Hugo Ballin. In 1918 he moved to Goldwyn as art director and, in 1924, began his 32 year stint as supervising art director for some 1500 MGM films, ...

43. James Cagney

Actor | Angels with Dirty Faces

One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time, James Cagney was also an accomplished dancer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, to Carolyn (Nelson) and James Francis Cagney, Sr., who was a bartender and amateur ...

44. Ben Hecht

Writer | Notorious

Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld (1927) at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing...

45. Ingmar Bergman

Writer | Persona

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film Sunday's Children (1992) depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (...

46. Humphrey Bogart

Actor | Casablanca

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy ...

47. Leon Schlesinger

Producer | Somewhere in Sonora

Leon Schlesinger occupies an odd niche in Hollywood history. He was every bit a studio mogul but occupied a narrow, if extremely lucrative corner of the industry, an animation company. He might have shared this corner with Walt Disney but the two men couldn't have been more different in their ...

48. Louella Parsons

Actress | Hollywood Hotel

Louella Parsons was born on August 6, 1881 in Freeport, Illinois, USA as Louella Rose Oettinger. She was an actress and writer, known for Hollywood Hotel (1937), Without Reservations (1946) and Starlift (1951). She was married to Dr. Henry Watson Martin, John McCaffrey Jr. and John Demont Parsons. ...

49. Roger Corman

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a...

50. Edith Head

Costume_department | Sabrina

Edith Head was born on October 28, 1897 in San Bernardino, California, USA as Edith Claire Posener. She is known for her work on Sabrina (1954), All About Eve (1950) and Roman Holiday (1953). She was married to Wiard Ihnen and Charles Head. She died on October 24, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

51. Bernard Herrmann

Composer | Taxi Driver

The man behind the low woodwinds that open Citizen Kane (1941), the shrieking violins of Psycho (1960), and the plaintive saxophone of Taxi Driver (1976) was one of the most original and distinctive composers ever to work in film. He started early, winning a composition prize at the age of 13 and ...

52. Gary Cooper

Actor | High Noon

Born to Alice Cooper and Charles Cooper. Gary attended school at Dunstable school England, Helena Montana and Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa (then called Iowa College). His first stage experience was during high school and college. Afterwards, he worked as an extra for one year before getting a ...

53. Mike Todd

Producer | Around the World in 80 Days

Film producer Michael Todd was one of the major contributors to technical innovation in the film industry in the 1950s. Having worked with Fred Waller and Cinerama, he got tired of the three-panel format, left the company and tried to find the process for making "Cinerama coming from one hole". He ...

54. Ernst Lubitsch

Director | To Be or Not to Be

From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at ...

55. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (although born, two months prematurely, in Miami during a visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (nee Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to...

56. 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 ...

57. 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 ...

58. Bette Davis

Actress | All About Eve

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...

59. Erich von Stroheim

Actor | Sunset Blvd.

Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatter from Gleiwitz, Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). His family was Jewish.

After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America ...

60. Max Factor

Make_up_department | We're in the Legion Now

Max Factor Jr., named Frank at birth, was the second son of Max Factor, who opened his first wig shop in Razan, Russia in the 1890s. In April 1904, Max emigrated to the United States and opened a perfume, makeup, and wig concession at the St. Louis World's Fair. Max's son Frank was born in St. ...

61. Auguste Lumière

Producer | Londres, alerte de pompiers: film Lumière n° 246

Although it is his brother Louis Lumière who is generally acclaimed as the "father of the cinema", Auguste Lumiere also made a major contribution towards the development of the medium, first by helping with the invention and construction of the cinematographe (the world's first camera and ...

with Luis Lumière

62. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born on December 1, 1935, as Allen Konigsberg, in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Martin Konigsberg and Nettie Konigsberg. He has one younger sister, Letty Aronson. As a young boy, he became intrigued with magic tricks and playing the clarinet, two hobbies that he continues today.

Allen ...

63. Clark Gable

Actor | It Happened One Night

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle ...

64. David O. Selznick

Producer | Gone with the Wind

David O. Selznick was a son of the silent movie producer Lewis J. Selznick. David studied at Columbia University until his father lost his fortune in the 1920s. David started work as an MGM script reader, shortly followed by becoming an assistant to Harry Rapf. He left MGM to work at Paramount then...

65. Gregg Toland

Cinematographer | Citizen Kane

Born in Illinois in 1904, the only child of Jennie and Frank Toland, Gregg and his mother moved to California several years after his parents divorced in 1910. Through Jennie's work as a housekeeper for several people in the movie business, Gregg may had gotten a $12-a-week job at age 15 as an ...

66. Lillian Gish

Actress | The Night of the Hunter

Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893, in Springfield, Ohio. Her father, James Lee Gish, was an alcoholic who caroused, was rarely at home., and left the family to, more or less, fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish, and their mother, Mary Gish, ...

67. William Cameron Menzies

Production_designer | Gone with the Wind

William Cameron Menzies was educated at Yale University, the University of Edinburgh and at the Art Students League in New York. He entered the film industry in 1919, after serving with the U.S. Expeditionary Forces in World War I. His initial assignments were in film design and special effects, as...

68. Lucille Ball

Actress | I Love Lucy

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...

69. S.L. Rothafel

Producer | Flying with the Marines

S.L. Rothafel was born on July 9, 1882 in Stillwater, Minnesota, USA as Samuel Lionel Rothapfel. He was a composer and producer, known for Flying with the Marines (1918), Under Four Flags (1918) and False Gods (1919). He died on January 13, 1936 in New York City, New York, USA.

70. Akira Kurosawa

Writer | Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

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...

71. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

72. Vittorio De Sica

Director | Ladri di biciclette

Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee ...

73. Natalie Kalmus

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Before she married Herbert T. Kalmus, she was a catalog model.

74. Roger Ebert

Cinematographer | Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

Roger Joseph Ebert was the all-time best-known, most successful movie critic in cinema history, when one thinks of his establishing a rapport with both serious cineastes and the movie-going public and reaching more movie fans via television and print than any other critic. He became the first and ...

with Gene Siskel

75. Willis H. O'Brien

King Kong

In 1949, 16 years after his ground breaking work on "King Kong", Willis O'Brien worked as Chief Technician on another gorilla picture for Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Shoedsack called "Mighty Joe Young". A young Ray Harryhausen would animate most of the animation, but O'Brien did come up with the...

76. Shirley Temple

Actress | The Little Colonel

Shirley Temple was easily the most popular and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all at the age of five! Fans loved her as she was bright, bouncy and cheerful in ...

77. Yakima Canutt

Assistant_director | Ben-Hur

Starting out as a rodeo cowboy and then becoming a stuntman in silent westerns, Yakima Canutt later doubled for such stars as Clark Gable and John Wayne, among others, in such dangerous activities as jumping off the top of a cliff on horseback, leaping from a stagecoach onto its runaway team, being...

78. 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 ...

79. Jackie Coogan

Actor | The Kid

Jackie Coogan was born into a family of vaudevillians; his father was a dancer and his mother had been a child star. On the stage by age 4, Jackie was touring at age 5 with his family in Los Angeles, California.

While performing on the stage, he was spotted by Charles Chaplin, who then and there ...

80. Federico Fellini

Writer | Le notti di Cabiria

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

81. Leni Riefenstahl

Producer | Das blaue Licht - Eine Berglegende aus den Dolomiten

Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...

82. 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, ...

83. Sam Warner

Director | A Dangerous Adventure

Sam Warner could rightly be called "The Father of Talking Pictures". Of the four Warner brothers, Sam was the most in favor of using synchronized sound with movies. He was the driving force behind the studio's partnership with Western Electric to create Vitaphone. At first, he only wanted to use ...

84. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

85. Robert De Niro

Actor | Cape Fear

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, English, Dutch, German, and French. He was trained ...

86. Fred Astaire

Actor | The Towering Inferno

Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. ...

87. 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 ...

88. Ted Turner

Writer | WCW Monday Nitro

Ted Turner was born on November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as Robert Edward Turner III. He is the founder of CNN, TurnerBrodcastSystem(TBS)and TNTnetwork He was previously married to Jane Fonda, Jane Shirley Smith and Judy Nye .He started in the business as a writer and producer but had a ...

89. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a bond salesman and later manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school ...

90. Dalton Trumbo

Writer | Roman Holiday

Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery.

Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in ...

91. 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 ...

92. Melvin Van Peebles

Actor | The Shining

Melvin Van Peebles was born on August 21, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for The Shining (1997), Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) and Don't Play Us Cheap (1972). He was married to Maria Marx. He died on September 21, 2021 in Manhattan, New York City, New ...

93. John Chambers

Make_up_department | Planet of the Apes

John Chambers worked out of his home in a blue collar neighborhood in Burbank, California, just a few short blocks from Disney Studios, (actually, his garage transformed into a makeup lab) where the likes of Lana Turner could be found sitting for a set of teeth, Howard Keel getting a fitting for an...

94. Mack Sennett

Producer | A Small Town Idol

Mack Sennett was born Michael Sinnott on January 17, 1880 in Danville, Quebec, Canada, to Irish immigrant farmers. When he was 17, his parents moved the family to East Berlin, Connecticut, and he became a laborer at American Iron Works, a job he continued when they moved to Northampton, ...

95. 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 ...

96. Karl Struss

Cinematographer | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Oscar-winning cinematographer Karl Struss was born on November 30, 1886, in New York City. He became a professional photographer after studying photography with Clarence H. White and became part of the group associated with the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz. His photographs, which he ...

97. Busby Berkeley

Director | Gold Diggers of 1935

Busby Berkeley was one of the greatest choreographers of the US movie musical. He started his career in the US Army in 1918, as a lieutenant in the artillery conducting and directing parades. After the World War I cease-fire he was ordered to stage camp shows for the soldiers. Back in the US he ...

98. John Hubley

Animation_department | Of Stars and Men

John Hubley was born on May 21, 1914 in Marinette, Wisconsin, USA. He is known for his work on Of Stars and Men (1962), The Hole (1962) and A Doonesbury Special (1977). He was married to Faith Hubley and Claudia Ross. He died on February 21, 1977 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

99. 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 (1893-1979) and his wife, Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). ...

100. Jerry Bruckheimer

Producer | Armageddon

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 ...



Recently Viewed