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Also Known As: Richard Koufay, Adam Spiegel Died:
Born: October 22, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Rockville, Maryland, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, cinematographer, screenwriter, photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Throughout his varied career, Spike Jonze quickly established himself as a director whose remarkable vision and prolific output led to creating some of the most memorable films and music videos of his day. Jonze started off as a music video director credited with popular takes on the Beastie Boy's "Sabotage" (1994) and Weezer's "Buddy Holly" (1994), which deftly incorporated a "Happy Days" theme and actual show footage. While keeping his feet firmly planted in the music video world, he ventured into feature films; first as an actor in "The Game" (1997) and "Three Kings" (1999), then as a director with the strikingly original "Being John Malkovich" (1999), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Taking a turn toward the outrageous, he helped create the cult favorite, "Jackass" (MTV, 2000-02), which earned public condemnation for its depiction of dangerous, but hilarious stunts. Returning to narrative filmmaking, Jonze helmed the inspired "Adaptation" (2002), a wildly original, offbeat and entertaining dramedy that confirmed Jonze as a truly visionary filmmaker worthy of the highest accolades.

Throughout his varied career, Spike Jonze quickly established himself as a director whose remarkable vision and prolific output led to creating some of the most memorable films and music videos of his day. Jonze started off as a music video director credited with popular takes on the Beastie Boy's "Sabotage" (1994) and Weezer's "Buddy Holly" (1994), which deftly incorporated a "Happy Days" theme and actual show footage. While keeping his feet firmly planted in the music video world, he ventured into feature films; first as an actor in "The Game" (1997) and "Three Kings" (1999), then as a director with the strikingly original "Being John Malkovich" (1999), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Taking a turn toward the outrageous, he helped create the cult favorite, "Jackass" (MTV, 2000-02), which earned public condemnation for its depiction of dangerous, but hilarious stunts. Returning to narrative filmmaking, Jonze helmed the inspired "Adaptation" (2002), a wildly original, offbeat and entertaining dramedy that confirmed Jonze as a truly visionary filmmaker worthy of the highest accolades.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Her (2013)
3.
  Adaptation. (2002) Director
4.
  Being John Malkovich (1999) Director
5.
  Amarillo by Morning (1997) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Her (2013)
4.
 Jackass 3D (2010)
5.
6.
 jackass: the movie (2002) Himself
7.
 Three Kings (1999) Private Conrad Vig
8.
 Game, The (1997) Airbag Emt Beltran
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Bethesda, Maryland
:
While in high school, met Andy Jenkins and Mark Lewman, publishers of <i>Freestylin'</i>, a popular BMX magazine
:
Moved to Los Angeles and joined the <i>Freestylin'</i> team as an editorial assistant
:
Began shooting photos for the publications <i>BMX Action</i> and the short-lived <i>Homeboy</i>
1991:
Launched <i>Dirt</i> (with Jenkins and Lewman), a failed, somewhat subversive magazine geared towards teen-aged boys
:
Founded the company Girl Skateboards (with skaters Rick Howard and Mike Carroll)
1992:
Music video debut, co-directed Sonic Youth's "100%" with Tamra Davis
1993:
Had a bit part in Allison Anders' "Mi Vida Loca"
1993:
Directed The Red Balloon inspired video for The Breeders' "Cannonball" with Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon
1994:
Directed the popular 1970s cop show inspired music video "Sabotage" for the Beastie Boys
1994:
Re-teamed with the Beastie Boys to direct "Sure Shot"
1994:
Filmed the award-winning video "Buddy Holly" for Weezer in the middle of an actual scene from the 1950s-set sitcom "Happy Days"
1994:
With Roman Coppola and Dewey Hicks, directed segments of the short-lived lifestyle series "Hi-Octane" (Comedy Central)
1995:
Created the frenetic main title sequence for the short lived CBS sitcom "Double Rush"
1995:
Produced, directed and wrote the screenplay for the comedy short "Las Nueve Vidas de Paco"
1996:
Was the cinematographer (with Roman Coppola) for "Bed, Bath and Beyond," a comedy short co-directed by Ione Skye, Sofia Coppola, and Andrew Durham
1997:
Signed a first-look develpoment and production deal with Propaganda Films for features and TV
1997:
Directed the high school prom-set video for Puff Daddy's "It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)"
1998:
Screened his documentary short "Amarillo by Morning" at the Sundance Film Festival
1998:
Co-directed (with Roman Coppola) the music video for Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" (also starred under the pseudonym Richard Koufey)
1999:
Co-starred with George Clooney, Ice Cube and Mark Wahlberg in David O Russell's adventure film "Three Kings"
1999:
Made directorial debut with "Being John Malkovich" starring John Cusack and Cameron Diaz; scripted by Charlie Kaufman; nominated for a Best Director Academy Award and received a nomination from the Directors Guild of America
2000:
Directed a 13-minute documentary about US presidential candidate Al Gore for the Democratic National Convention (was not available for broadcast until 2006)
2000:
Created and executive produced the MTV series "Jackass"
2001:
Helmed the popular music video "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim and featured actor, Christopher Walken
2001:
Produced the film "Human Nature" from a Charlie Kaufman screenplay
2002:
Produced "Jackass: The Movie" with Johnny Knoxville; also credited as writer
2002:
Re-teamed with screenwriter Kaufman for "Adaptation"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director
2006:
Re-teamed with Knoxville to produce "Jackass: Number Two"
2008:
Produced the directorial debut of Charlie Kaufman, "Synecdoche, New York"
2009:
Directed the live-action adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are"
2010:
Once again teamed with Johnny Knoxville to co-produce "Jackass 3D"
2010:
Wrote and directed the short "I'm Here"
2013:
Helmed the first "YouTube Music Awards"
2013:
Debuted his fourth feature, "Her"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Walt Whitman High School: Bethesda , Maryland -

Notes

Spike Jonze had been set to direct the film adaptation of "Harold & the Purple Crayon", scripted by David O Russell. When the studio pulled the plug on the project, Russell wrote the role of Private Conrad Vig in "Three Kings" especially for Jonze.

Jonze, displaying his notoriously skewed sense of humor, explains why he was offered the job of directing "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" (which he turned down): "My stepdad sells juicers to a lot of people in Hollywood and he knew Jim Carrey through his juicing connection. In Hollywood all the big deals are made through juicing." --quoted in Entertainment Weekly, March 17, 1995.

Director Tamra Davis on the possibility of Jonze going Hollywood: "With him there's the Adam Spiegel side - the businessman, and then there's the Spike side. When Adam Spiegel says make a movie, Spike will probably do it." --quoted in Details, March 1995.

Jonze refuting Details' R.J. Smith's allegations that the director's alter ego is Adam Spiegel, heir to the famed catalog company: "'No! There is no Spiegel thing!' he insists. 'It's all a lie, a product of excellent PR.

'This is my father,' he says, grabbing a CD off a table. 'He's a musician named Wesley Willis.' Spike throws on the CD; a middle-aged black man raves over a cheesy beat. A big smile crosses Spike's face, and he says apologetically, 'He's very eccentric.'"

"I just told the crew that this was my fourth movie and they were more comfortable." --Jonze on why things went smoothly on his feature directorial debut "Being John Malkovich", quoted in Rolling Stone, August 19, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Karen O. Musician, singer. Member of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs'.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Arthur Spiegel III. Consultant. Divorced from Jonze's mother; operated an international health-care consulting firm.
mother:
Sandy Granzow. Publicist. Divorced from Jonze's father; raised her boys as a single mother.
brother:
Sam Spiegel. Younger.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Skateboarding - The Ultimate Guide to Tricks, Ramps, Gear, Setting Up - And Letting Go!"

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