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Tony Kaye

Tony Kaye

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: England, GB Profession: director, producer, director of photography, musician, advertising art director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An accomplished and award-winning director of television commercials and music videos in the 1980s and early 1990s, Tony Kaye made an auspicious feature debut in 1996 with the powerful drama "American History X." The film, which starred Edward Norton as a reformed racist, scored with critics and audiences alike, but its success was quickly overshadowed by a bizarre battle of wills between Kaye, Norton and the film's producers at New Line Cinema. His public fight and ensuing propaganda blitz devastated his personal life and finances, leaving his career in tatters. But Kaye eventually rallied with the highly acclaimed documentary "Lake of Fire" (2006), which graphically depicted the struggle for abortion rights. Meanwhile, he made his second feature film, "Black Water Transit" (2010), starring Laurence Fishburne, though the movie's production company went bankrupt during filming and it went unreleased. With his back against the wall once more, Kaye made his third movie, "Detachment" (2012), a social drama about the high school education system starring Adrien Brody. Though he had failed to live up to the promise of "American History X," Kaye nonetheless continued to make intriguing films regardless of...

An accomplished and award-winning director of television commercials and music videos in the 1980s and early 1990s, Tony Kaye made an auspicious feature debut in 1996 with the powerful drama "American History X." The film, which starred Edward Norton as a reformed racist, scored with critics and audiences alike, but its success was quickly overshadowed by a bizarre battle of wills between Kaye, Norton and the film's producers at New Line Cinema. His public fight and ensuing propaganda blitz devastated his personal life and finances, leaving his career in tatters. But Kaye eventually rallied with the highly acclaimed documentary "Lake of Fire" (2006), which graphically depicted the struggle for abortion rights. Meanwhile, he made his second feature film, "Black Water Transit" (2010), starring Laurence Fishburne, though the movie's production company went bankrupt during filming and it went unreleased. With his back against the wall once more, Kaye made his third movie, "Detachment" (2012), a social drama about the high school education system starring Adrien Brody. Though he had failed to live up to the promise of "American History X," Kaye nonetheless continued to make intriguing films regardless of his financial struggles.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Attachment (2014)
2.
  Detachment (2011)
4.
5.
  American History X (1998) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Spun (2003)
2.
 8 1/2 Women (1999) Mourner
3.
 Who Is Alan Smithee? (2002) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked as an art director for several London advertising agencies
:
Made his name in the UK helming TV commercials for Guinness, Reebok and Volvo
:
Was one of the founders of Hype Art
:
As part of Hype Art, hired a homeless man named Roger and "installed" him at the Tate Gallery in London
1991:
Established Tony Kaye Films in L.A.
:
In California, hired a woman he met at Venice Beach to appear daily at the Getty Museum
1993:
Began work on "G-D," a look at the abortion issue in America (completed in 1999)
1998:
Feature directing debut, "American History X"; also served as own cameraman; fought with New Line over final cut
1998:
Announced plans to direct Marlon Brando in "One Arm," an unproduced script by Tennessee Williams; project never made
1999:
Helmed the five-and-one-half-minute short "Pluto Warrior"
2001:
Sued by actor Larry Jenkins and Flashworks Prods. over reportedly reneging on an agreement to direct a film for which he had been paid $600,000
2002:
Hired as director for an acting video produced by and starring Marlon Brando called "Lying for a Living"; quit after the third day
2006:
Directed the "Dani California" video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
2007:
Helmed the documentry "Lake of Fire," a look at the landmark case, Roe v. Wade, examining its impact on the United States and the deep divisions on the issue of abortion; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Documentry
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Notes

He has formed a rock band TKOH.

"I have systematically and deliberately burned 99 percent of the bridges in this town [Hollywood]. I have systematically closed 99 percent of the doors because I don't want anyone to waste my time anymore. But I know there's 1 percent of this town that will work with me." --Tony Kaye

"I think the cream of Hollywood cares about this stuff [issue-oriented films] and they realize that you have to try and investigate as well as entertain and provoke dialogue about these kinds of issues in hope that this dialogue moves things forward, but not in a preachy way, which unfortunately, a lot of 'American History X' does now." --Kaye quoted in Los Angeles Times, October 21, 1998.

"Tony Kaye is the most important British director since Alfred Hitchcock." --From a 1983 advertisement in British newspapers (Kaye had yet to direct at the time the ad ran)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Amy Hill. Director. Married on September 7, 1997.

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