Template:AFI Life Achievement Award
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Robert Anthony De Niro is an American actor and director who has both Italian and American citizenship. He was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II and his longtime collaboration with director Martin Scorsese earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake La Motta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2003, the Golden Globe Cecil B, deMille Award in 2010, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2016. De Niros first major roles were in the sports drama, Bang the Drum Slowly. He earned Academy Award nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver and Cape Fear, De Niro received additional nominations for Michael Ciminos Vietnam war drama, The Deer Hunter, Penny Marshalls drama Awakenings, and David O. Russells romantic comedy-drama, Silver Linings Playbook. His portrayal of gangster Jimmy Conway in Scorseses crime film, other notable performances include roles in Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and Casino.
He has directed and starred in such as the crime drama A Bronx Tale. Robert Anthony De Niro was born in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan, New York, the son of Virginia Admiral and Robert De Niro Sr. Both of his parents were painters, his father was of half Italian and half Irish descent, while his mother was of half German ancestry, with her other roots being French and Dutch. De Niros parents, who had met at the classes of Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. De Niro was raised by his mother in the Greenwich Village and his father lived within walking distance and De Niro spent much time with him as he grew up. His mother was raised Presbyterian but became an atheist as an adult, against his parents wishes, his grandparents had him secretly baptized into the Catholic Church while he was staying with them during his parents divorce. De Niro attended PS41, an elementary school in Manhattan. He went to Elisabeth Irwin High School, the upper school of the Little Red School House. He was accepted into the High School of Music and Art for the ninth grade, De Niro began high school at the private McBurney School and attended the private Rhodes Preparatory School, although he never graduated from either.
Nicknamed Bobby Milk for his pallor, De Niro hung out with a group of kids as a youth in Little Italy. The direction of his future had already been foreshadowed by his debut at age 10. Along with finding relief from shyness through performing, he was fixated by cinema and he studied acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory, as well as Lee Strasbergs Actors Studio
George Walton Lucas Jr. is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as the founder of Lucasfilm and he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm, before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California in 1967, Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with fellow filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Lucas wrote and directed THX1138, based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth, THX1138 4EB, which was a critical success but a financial failure. His next work as a writer-director was the film, American Graffiti, inspired by his teen years in early 1960s Modesto, the film was critically and commercially successful, and received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. Following the first Star Wars film, Lucas produced and co-wrote the following installments in the trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, along with Steven Spielberg, Lucas co-created and wrote the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade.
Lucas produced and/or wrote a variety of films through Lucasfilm in the 1980s and 1990s, Lucas returned to directing with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, consisting of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. He collaborated on the story for the Indiana Jones sequel Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, five of Lucass seven features are among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the North American box office, adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Lucas is one of the American film industrys most financially successful filmmakers, Lucas is considered a significant figure in the New Hollywood era. Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, the son of Dorothy Ellinore Lucas and George Walton Lucas and he is of German, Swiss-German, English and distant Dutch and French descent. Growing up, Lucas had a passion for cars and motor racing, on June 12,1962, while driving his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina, another driver broadsided him, flipping over his car, nearly killing him, causing him to lose interest in racing as a career.
He attended Modesto Junior College, where he studied anthropology, sociology and he began shooting with an 8 mm camera, including filming car races. At this time and his friend John Plummer became interested in Canyon Cinema, screenings of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers like Jordan Belson, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner. Lucas and Plummer saw classic European films of the time, including Jean-Luc Godards Breathless, François Truffauts Jules et Jim, thats when George really started exploring, Plummer said. Through his interest in racing, Lucas met renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler, another race enthusiast. Wexler, to work with Lucas on several occasions, was impressed by Lucas talent, George had a very good eye, and he thought visually, he recalled. Lucas transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film. During the years at USC, Lucas shared a room with Randal Kleiser.
George Orson Welles was an American actor, director and producer who worked in theatre and film. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was actually occurring, although some contemporary sources claim these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety. His first film was Citizen Kane, which he co-wrote, directed, Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. He has been praised as the ultimate auteur, Welles followed up Citizen Kane with critically acclaimed films including The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942 and Touch of Evil in 1958. Although these three are his most acclaimed films, critics have argued other works of his, such as The Lady from Shanghai and Chimes at Midnight, are underappreciated.
Known for his voice, Welles was an actor in radio and film, a Shakespearean stage actor. George Orson Welles was born May 6,1915, in Kenosha, son of Richard Head Welles and he was named after his paternal great-grandfather, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, and his brother George Head. Despite his familys affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood and his parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic. Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital May 10,1924, the Gordon String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrices funeral. After his mothers death Welles ceased pursuing music and it was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward. There he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, Welles briefly attended public school before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East.
When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, when the hotel burned down and his father took to the road again. During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom, in some ways, he was never really a young boy, you know, said Roger Hill, who became Welless teacher and lifelong friend. Welles briefly attended school in Madison, enrolled in the fourth grade. At Todd School, Welles came under the influence of Roger Hill, Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there, Todd provided Welles with many valuable experiences, wrote critic Richard France
Clinton Clint Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, filmmaker and political figure. These roles, among others, have made Eastwood an enduring icon of masculinity. For his work in the Western film Unforgiven and the sports drama Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations for Best Actor. Eastwoods greatest commercial successes have been the adventure comedy Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel, the war drama biopic American Sniper set box office records for the largest January release ever and was the largest opening ever for an Eastwood film. Eastwood received considerable praise in France for several films, including some that were not well received in the United States. Eastwood has been awarded two of Frances highest honors, in 1994 he became a recipient of the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in 2000, Eastwood was awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. Since 1967, Eastwood has run his own company, Malpaso.
Starting in 1986, Eastwood served for two years as Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, a non-partisan office, Eastwood was born Clinton Eastwood Jr. May 31,1930, in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr. and he has one younger sister, Jeanne Bernhardt. Eastwood is of English, Irish and Dutch ancestry and he is descended from Mayflower passenger William Bradford, and through this line is the 12th generation of his family born in North America and the 13th generation to live in North America. His family moved often as his father worked at jobs along the West Coast, settled in Piedmont, the Eastwoods lived in a very wealthy part of town, had a swimming pool, belonged to the country club, and each parent drove their own car. Clint attended Piedmont Junior High School, shortly before he was to enter Piedmont High School, he rode his bike on the schools sports field and tore up the wet turf, this resulted in his being asked not to enroll. Clint graduated from the airplane shop, I think that was his major, joked classmate Don Kincaid.
Another high school friend, Don Loomis, echoed I dont think he was spending much time at school because he was having a pretty good time elsewhere. I think what happened is he just went off and started having a good time, I just dont think he finished high school, explained Fritz Manes, a boyhood friend two years younger than Eastwood, who remained associated with him until their falling out in the mid-1980s. Biographer Patrick McGilligan notes that high school records are a matter of strict legal confidentiality. Eastwood worked at a number of jobs, including lifeguard, paper carrier, grocery clerk, forest firefighter, Eastwood has said that he tried to enroll at Seattle University but was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War. He always dropped the Korean War reference, hoping everyone would conclude that he was in combat, hed been a lifeguard at Fort Ord in northern California for his entire stint in the military, commented Eastwoods former longtime companion, Sondra Locke
Billy Wilder was a Austrian-born Jewish American filmmaker, producer and journalist, whose career spanned more than fifty years and sixty films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywoods golden age, with The Apartment, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer and screenwriter for the same film. Wilder became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin, after the rise of the Nazi Party, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He moved to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit when he co-wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy Ninotchka, Wilder established his directorial reputation with an adaption of James M. Cains Double Indemnity, a film noir. Wilder co-wrote the screenplay with crime novelist Raymond Chandler, Wilder earned the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the adaptation of a Charles R. Jackson story The Lost Weekend, about alcoholism. In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard, from the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies.
Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the farces The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot and he directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances. Wilder was recognized with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1986, in 1988, Wilder was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, born Samuel Wilder to a Polish-Jewish family in Sucha Beskidzka, Austria-Hungary, to Max and Eugenia Wilder, he was nicknamed Billie by his mother. He had a brother, William Lee Wilder, who became a screenwriter, film producer. His parents had a successful and well-known cake shop in Sucha Beskidzkas train station, soon the family moved to Vienna, where Wilder attended school. Instead of attending the University of Vienna, Wilder became a journalist, to advance his career Wilder decided to move to Berlin, before achieving success as a writer, he allegedly worked as a taxi dancer. After writing crime and sports stories as a stringer for local newspapers, developing an interest in film, he began working as a screenwriter.
He collaborated with several other tyros on the 1929 feature People on Sunday and he wrote the screenplay for the 1931 film adaptation of a novel by Erich Kästner and the Detectives. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Jewish, left for Paris and he relocated to Hollywood prior to its release. Wilders mother and stepfather all perished in the Holocaust, after arriving in Hollywood in 1933, Wilder continued his career as a screenwriter. He became a citizen of the United States in 1934. Wilders first significant success was Ninotchka in 1939, a collaboration with fellow German immigrant Ernst Lubitsch and this romantic comedy starred Greta Garbo, and was popularly and critically acclaimed
Morgan Freeman is an American actor and narrator. He has won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award and he rose to fame as part of the cast of the 1970s childrens program The Electric Company. Morgan Freeman is ranked as the 4th highest box office star with over $4.316 billion total box office gross, Morgan Freeman was born on June 1,1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the son of Mayme Edna, a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, according to a DNA analysis, some of his ancestors were from Niger. Freeman was sent as an infant to his grandmother in Charleston. He moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Gary, when Freeman was 16 years old, he almost died of pneumonia. Freeman made his debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He attended Broad Street High School, a building serves today as Threadgill Elementary School, in Greenwood. At age 12, he won a drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School, he performed in a radio show based in Nashville.
Freemans service portrait appears in his characters funeral scene in The Bucket List. During this period, Freeman lived in New York City, working as a dancer at the 1964 Worlds Fair, and in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Opera Ring musical theater group. He acted in a touring version of The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He continued to be involved in work and received the Obie Award in 1980 for the title role in Coriolanus. In 1984, he received his second Obie Award for his role as the preacher in The Gospel at Colonus, Freeman won a Drama Desk Award and a Clarence Derwent Award for his role as a wino in The Mighty Gents. He received his third Obie Award for his role as a chauffeur for a Jewish widow in Driving Miss Daisy, although his first credited film appearance was in 1971s Who Says I Cant Ride a Rainbow. Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World, during his tenure with The Electric Company, t was a very unhappy period in his life, according to Joan Ganz Cooney.
Freeman himself admitted in an interview that he never thinks about his tenure with the show at all, since then, Freeman has considered his Street Smart character Fast Black, rather than any of the characters he played in The Electric Company, to be his breakthrough role. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise
Barbara Stanwyck was an American actress and dancer. She was a film and television star, known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional with a strong, realistic screen presence, deMille, Fritz Lang, and Frank Capra. After a short but notable career as an actress in the late 1920s, she made 85 films in 38 years in Hollywood. Orphaned at the age of four and partially raised in foster homes and she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times, for Stella Dallas, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity and Sorry, Wrong Number. For her television work she won three Emmy Awards, for The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Big Valley and The Thorn Birds, the Thorn Birds won her a Golden Globe. She received an Honorary Oscar at the 1982 Academy Award ceremony and she was the recipient of honorary lifetime awards from the American Film Institute, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Screen Actors Guild. Stanwyck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16,1907, in Brooklyn, New York.
She was the child of Byron E. and Catherine Ann Stevens. Her father was a native of Massachusetts and her mother was an immigrant from Nova Scotia, Ruby was of English and Scottish ancestry, by her father and mother, respectively. When Ruby was four, her mother died of complications from a miscarriage after a drunken stranger accidentally knocked her off a moving streetcar, two weeks after the funeral, Byron Stevens joined a work crew digging the Panama Canal and was never seen again. Ruby and her brother, were raised by their elder sister Mildred, when Mildred got a job as a showgirl and Byron were placed in a series of foster homes, from which young Ruby often ran away. Ruby toured with Mildred during the summers of 1916 and 1917, watching the movies of Pearl White, whom Ruby idolized, influenced her drive to be a performer. At the age of 14 she dropped out of school, to take a job wrapping packages at a department store in Brooklyn, Ruby never attended high school, although early biographical thumbnail sketches had her attending Brooklyns famous Erasmus Hall High School.
Soon afterward, she took a job filing cards at the Brooklyn telephone office for a wage of $14 a week and she disliked both jobs, her real goal was to enter show business, even as her sister Mildred discouraged the idea. She took a job cutting dress patterns for Vogue magazine and her next job was as a typist for the Jerome H. Remick Music Company, a job she reportedly enjoyed. However, her ambition was to work in show business. In 1923, a few months before her 16th birthday, Ruby auditioned for a place in the chorus at the Strand Roof, a night club over the Strand Theatre in Times Square. A few months later, she obtained a job as a dancer in the 1922 and 1923 seasons of the Ziegfeld Follies, I just wanted to survive and eat and have a nice coat, Stanwyck said
Kirk Douglas is an American actor, producer and author. He is one of the last living people of the film industrys Golden Age, after an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for dramas, including westerns. During a 64-year acting career, he has appeared in more than 90 movies, other early films include Young Man with a Horn, playing opposite Lauren Bacall and Doris Day, Ace in the Hole opposite Jan Sterling, and Detective Story. He received a second Oscar nomination for his role in The Bad and the Beautiful, opposite Lana Turner. In 1955, he established Bryna Productions, which began producing films as varied as Paths of Glory, in those two films, he starred and collaborated with the relatively unknown director, Stanley Kubrick. Douglas helped break the Hollywood blacklist by having Dalton Trumbo write Spartacus with an official on-screen credit and he produced and starred in Lonely Are the Brave, considered a cult classic, and Seven Days in May, opposite Burt Lancaster, with whom he made seven films.
In 1963, he starred in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, a story he purchased, which he gave to his son Michael Douglas. As an actor and philanthropist, Douglas has received three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as an author, he has written ten novels and memoirs. Currently, he is No.17 on the American Film Institutes list of the greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema, after barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and suffering a stroke in 1996, he has focused on renewing his spiritual and religious life. He lives with his wife, Anne, a producer. He turned 100 on December 9,2016, Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York, the son of Bryna Bertha and Herschel Harry Danielovitch. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Chavusy, Mogilev Region, in the Russian Empire, and his fathers brother, who emigrated earlier, used the surname Demsky, which Douglass family adopted in the United States.
Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky and legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the United States Navy during World War II. Even on Eagle Street, in the poorest section of town, where all the families were struggling, and I was the ragmans son. Growing up, Douglas sold snacks to mill workers to earn enough to buy milk, later, he delivered newspapers and during his youth worked at more than forty different jobs before getting a job acting. He found living in a family with six sisters to be stifling, in a sense, it lit a fire under me. In high school, after acting in plays, he knew he wanted to become a professional actor
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks films have grossed more than $4.5 billion at U. S. and Canadian box offices and more than $9.0 billion worldwide, Hanks has been nominated for numerous awards during his career. In 2004, he received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor and, in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, in 2010, Spielberg and Hanks were executive producers on the HBO miniseries The Pacific. Hanks was born in Concord, the son of Janet Marylyn, a worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks. His mother was of Portuguese descent, while his father had English ancestry. The familys three oldest children, Sandra and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim, in his childhood, his family moved often. By the age of ten, Hanks had lived in ten different houses, while Hanks family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, he has characterized himself as being a Bible-toting evangelical for several years as a teenager.
In school, Hanks was unpopular with students and teachers alike, telling Rolling Stone magazine, I was a geek, I was horribly, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy whod yell out funny captions during filmstrips, but I didnt get into trouble. I was always a good kid and pretty responsible. In 1965, his father married Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese descent, Frances had three children, two of whom lived with Hanks during his high school years. Hanks acted in plays, including South Pacific, while attending Skyline High School in Oakland. Hanks studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward and transferred to California State University, Hanks told New York magazine in 1986, Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of going to plays. I wouldnt take dates with me, id just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the program, and get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, during his years studying theater, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio.
At Dowlings suggestion, Hanks became an intern at the festival and his internship stretched into a three-year experience that covered most aspects of theater production, including lighting, set design, and stage management, prompting Hanks to drop out of college
Mary Louise Meryl Streep is an American actress and philanthropist. Nominated for 20 Academy Awards, Streep has more nominations than any actor or actress. Streep has received 30 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight—more nominations, Streep made her professional stage debut in Trelawny of the Wells in 1975, and in 1976 received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. She made her debut in the 1977 television film The Deadliest Season. In 1978, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the miniseries Holocaust and she went on to win Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer, and Best Actress for Sophies Choice and The Iron Lady. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts, in 2003, the government of France made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2017, Streep was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. Mary Louise Streep was born on June 22,1949, in Summit, New Jersey, the daughter of Mary Wolf Wilkinson, a commercial artist and art editor, the eldest child, she has two younger brothers, Dana David and Harry William III.
Streeps father Harry was of German and Swiss ancestry and her fathers lineage traces back to Loffenau, from where her second great-grandfather, Gottfried Streeb, immigrated to the United States, and where one of her ancestors served as mayor. Another line of her fathers family was from Giswil and her mother had English and Irish ancestry. Some of Streeps maternal ancestors lived in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island and were descended from 17th-century immigrants from England and her eighth great-grandfather, Lawrence Wilkinson, was one of the first Europeans to settle in Rhode Island. Streep is a distant relative of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, Streeps maternal great-great-grandparents, Manus McFadden and Grace Strain, the namesake of Streeps second daughter, were natives of the Horn Head district of Dunfanaghy, Ireland. Streeps mother, whom she has compared in both appearance and manner to Dame Judi Dench, strongly encouraged her daughter and instilled confidence in her from a young age.
Streep has said, She was a mentor because she said to me, Meryl and she was saying, You can do whatever you put your mind to. If youre lazy, youre not going to get it done, but if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Although Streep was naturally more introverted than her mother, at times when she needed an injection of confidence in adulthood, she would consult her mother, asking her for advice. Streep was raised as a Presbyterian in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and attended Cedar Hill Elementary School and the Oak Street School, in her Junior High debut, she starred as Lousie Heller in the play The Family Upstairs. In 1963 the family moved to Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she attended Bernards High School
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE was an English film director and producer, at times referred to as The Master of Suspense. He pioneered many elements of the suspense and psychological thriller genres and he had a successful career in British cinema with both silent films and early talkies and became renowned as Englands best director. Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939, and became a US citizen in 1955 and he fashioned for himself a recognisable directorial style. Hitchcocks stylistic trademarks include the use of movement that mimics a persons gaze. In addition, he framed shots to maximise anxiety, fear, or empathy and his work often features fugitives on the run alongside icy blonde female characters. Prior to 1980, there had long been talk of Hitchcock being knighted for his contribution to film, Hitchcock received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980 New Year Honours. Hitchcock directed more than fifty films in a career spanning six decades and is often regarded as one of the most influential directors in cinematic history.
His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else, Hitchcocks first thriller, The Lodger, A Story of the London Fog, helped shape the thriller genre in film. His 1929 film, Blackmail, is cited as the first British sound feature film, while Rear Window, North by Northwest. Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on 13 August 1899 in Leytonstone and he was the second son and the youngest of three children of William Hitchcock, a greengrocer and poulterer, and Emma Jane Hitchcock. He was named after his fathers brother, Hitchcock was raised as a Roman Catholic, and sent to Salesian College and the Jesuit grammar school St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, London. His parents were both of half-English and half-Irish ancestry and he often described a lonely and sheltered childhood that was worsened by his obesity. Around age five, Hitchcock recalled that to him for behaving badly. This incident implanted a lifelong fear of policemen in Hitchcock, and such harsh treatment, sources vary on Hitchcocks performance in school.
Gene Adair reports that by most accounts, Alfred was only an average, or slightly above-average, however, McGilligan writes that Hitchcock certainly excelled academically. When Hitchcock was 15, his father died, in that same year, he left St. Ignatius to study at the London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation in Poplar, London. After leaving, he became a draftsman and advertising designer with a company called Henleys. Hitchcock joined a regiment of the Royal Engineers in 1917
Frank Russell Capra was an Italian-American film director and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, during World War II, Capra served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series. After World War II, Capras career declined as his films such as Its a Wonderful Life. In succeeding decades, these films have been favorably reassessed, outside of directing, Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social issues. He served as President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Screenwriters Guild, Capra was born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, a village near Palermo. He was the youngest of seven children of Salvatore Capra, a grower. The name Capra, notes Capras biographer Joseph McBride, represents his familys closeness to the land, and means goat.
For Capra, the journey, which took 13 days, remained in his mind for the rest of his life as one of his worst experiences, very few people have trunks or anything that takes up space. They have just what they can carry in their hands or in a bag, theres no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. Its the most degrading place you could ever be, Capra remembers the ships arrival in New York Harbor, where he saw a statue of a great lady, taller than a church steeple, holding a torch above the land we were about to enter. He recalls his fathers exclamation at the sight, look, thats the greatest light since the star of Bethlehem. The family settled in Los Angeless East Side which Capra described in his autobiography as an Italian ghetto, Capras father worked as a fruit picker and young Capra sold newspapers after school for 10 years, until he graduated from high school. Instead of working after graduating, as his parents wanted, he enrolled in college and he studied chemical engineering and graduated in the spring of 1918.
Capra wrote that his education had changed his whole viewpoint on life from the viewpoint of an alley rat to the viewpoint of a cultured person. Soon after graduating college, Capra was commissioned in the US Army as a second lieutenant, in the Army, he taught mathematics to artillerymen at Fort Point, San Francisco. His father died during the war in an accident, in the Army, Capra contracted Spanish flu and was medically discharged to return home to live with his mother. He became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1920, living at home with his siblings and mother, Capra was the only family member with a college education, yet he was the only one who remained chronically unemployed. After recovering at home, Capra moved out and spent the few years living in flophouses in San Francisco and hopping freight trains