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Overview for Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 18, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Profession: Producer ...


During a routine physical in February 2000, Spielberg's doctor discovered "an irregularity" that resulted in the director having to undergo surgery to remove one of his kidneys.

He was the owner of a sandwich shop in L.A. called Dive! While that outlet closed in 1999, a branch is Las Vegas remained open.

"I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority," Steven Spielberg said. "I always felt awkward and shy and on the outside of the momentum of my friends' lives. I was never on the inside of that. I was always on the outside.

"I felt like an alien. I always felt like I never belonged to any group that I wanted to belong to. Unlike Woody Allen, you know, I WANTED to become a member of the country club." --From "We Can't Just Sit Back And Hope" by Dotson Rader, Parade Magazine, March 27, 1994.

Received an honorary doctorate from USC May 6, 1994.

"Spielbergian images suffuse the planet's collective consciousness." --Nancy Griffin in her article "Manchild in the Promised Land" in Premiere, June 1989.

"Along with Scorsese, Spielberg shepherded the restoration of the Columbia Pictures classic (David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" 1962). Shortly after Dawn Steel inherited the top job at the studio from David Puttnam, Spielberg says, he marched into her office and said, 'You have to do this or I'll never make a picture for Columbia again.' When he viewed 'Lawrence' in all its original glory, it 'made me feel like going back to film school. One of the most intimidating things for anybody who takes himself seriously as a filmmaker is to sit in that theater and realize that so many of us have so far to go before we're able to recreate seven moments in a masterwork like that.'" --From "Manchild in the Promised Land" by Nancy Griffin in Premiere, June 1989.

"[Director Sidney] Lumet says, 'I just feel he is the most brilliant purely cinematic talent that I have seen. He is a thrilling, thrilling moviemaker.' He scoffs at Spielberg's detractors' judgment that he can't cut it with grown-up material. 'I'm sorry. That's bullshit,' says Lumet. 'Spielberg's talent is so rich, it's going to take him a lifetime to explore; he could go in so many directions.'" --From "Manchild in the Promised Land" by Nancy Griffin in Premiere, June 1989.

"After the final crescendo, when the last galloping rider has disappeared from the screen, he says softly, 'I'm going to miss looking into Harrison's eyes through the shadow of his fedora.'" --Spielberg remarking at the end of the scoring for "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in "Manchild in the Promised Land" by Nancy Griffin in Premiere, June 1989.

"'Schindler's List' brings a preeminent pop mastermind together with a story that demands the deepest reserves of courage and passion. Rising brilliantly to the challenge of this material and displaying an electrifying creative intelligence, Mr. Spielberg has made sure that neither he nor the Holocaust will ever be thought of in the same way again. With every frame, he demonstrates the power of the film maker to distill complex events into into fiercely indelible images." --Janet Maslin, "Imagining the Holocaust to Remember It" in The New York Times, December 15, 1993.

"Its one identifiable Spielberg trademark is its total command of cinema; what's new is a seriousness of purpose and level of filmmaking fury not seen since the director's early works." --Mike Clark, "'Schindler's List' is Spielberg's Triumph" from USA Today, December 15, 1993.

"Schindler is also a touchingly obvious projection of Spielberg's own dreams of posterity, a man remembered above all for being a good boss, for being truly loved by his employees (the film is dedicated to Steve Ross, the late Time Warner chairman who was Spielberg's mentor). As Schindler says, he is a man who has made more money than anyone could spend in a lifetime, yet in making that money he has touched people's lives in a meaningful way--Schindler by drawing up his list, Spielberg by filming it. In Spielberg's happily capitalist world, profit motive is not the enemy of humanism but its spur." --Dave Kehr, "A Spielberg Check-'List'" (review of "Schindler's List"), Daily News, December 15, 1993.

"Spielberg was far more collaborative than I ever imagined he would be. He really wanted ideas and encouraged people to give their input. Everyone had told me he shoots fast and that was so true - it makes your head spin. I had also been told he is very technical, which I didn't find at all. He was far more of an actor's director." --Jude Law to The Daily Telegraph, February 17, 2001.

Awarded The Order of the Smile in 1993 by the older children of Poland for being a role model and hero; previous recipient was the Pope.

The Righteous Persons Foundation was established with Spielberg's earnings from "Schindler's List" to fund projects which impact on modern Jewish life (e.g. "to engage Jewish youth, to support the arts, to promote tolerance and to strengthen the commitment to social justice"). As of fall 1995, the foundation had made 30 grants totaling nearly $10 million. The organization projected to distribute more than $40 million over its first decade of existence.

Received an honorary doctorate from New York University in 1996.

Anonymously purchased Clark Gable's 1934 Oscar for a record $550,000 then donated it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In April 1999, he donated $500,000 to USC's Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

Spielberg received the Defense Department Public Service Award on August 11, 1999

In January 2001, he recevied an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his extraordinary contributions to the entertainment industry.

"I don't think that 'Jaws' would do as well today as it did in 1975, because people would not wait so long to see the shark. Or they'd say there's too much time between the first attack and the second attack. Which is too bad. We have an audience now that isn't patient with us. They've been tought, by people like me, to be impatient with people like me." --Spielberg to The New York Times, June, 16, 2002.

Received an honorary doctrate degree from Yale University in 2002

"According to my mom, I'm such a big shot that she's threatening to have her uterus bronzed."---Spielberg People March 21, 1994

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