Alfonso Cuarón Biography

Alfonso Cuarón photo

Born: November 28, 1961


Date of Birth: November 28, 1961

Born and raised in Mexico City, Alfonso Cuarón studied cinema and philosophy at the University of Mexico. He began his career by working as an assistant director on several films and also directed for television before making his feature directorial debut with Solo Con Tu Pareja (1991), which he co-wrote with his brother Carlos. Alfonso also produced and edited the film, about a womanizer who is falsely diagnosed with AIDS. The film was a huge success in Mexico, and Alfonso shared a silver Ariel award for Best Original Story with his brother.

He was then asked to direct an episode of Showtime network's Fallen Angels (1993), a highly acclaimed show that each week featured different film stars such as Tom Hanks, Danny Glover and Gary Oldman. Alfonso directed Laura Dern and Alan Rickman in the episode "Murder Obliquely" and won the 1993 Cable Ace Award for Best Director.

Cuarón made his American feature film debut with a new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's novel, A Little Princess (1995). The movie earned two Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Cinematography, but paled in comparison to previous adaptations such as the 1939 film version starring Shirley Temple and the 1986 PBS TV version, which starred award-winning child actress Amelia Shankley.

His next film, Great Expectations (1998), was a sexed-up modernization of the Charles Dickens classic, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. The film bombed with critics and the moviegoing public. Cuarón returned to Mexico to work in his native language for the first time in 10 years with Y tu mamá también (2001). Alfonso directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Carlos. They were well rewarded for their work, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Writing as well as awards from film festivals and societies around the world. The film played in over 30 countries and made stars of the two young leads - Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, both of whom have gone on to star in American films.

On the basis of that success, Cuarón was asked to helm the third Harry Potter movie—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban—when the director of the first two, Chris Columbus, wanted a break from the constant filming away from home so he could return to America to be with his family.

Next up, Alfonso directed Children of Men (2006), starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Alfonso's 2013 movie, Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, received seven Academy Awards in total, including one for Best Director.

His 2018 Netflix movie, Roma, won critical acclaim and opened to rave reviews. The film earned him a Golden Globe for Best Director as well as an Academy Award in the same category. The film also won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Alfonso is married to freelance journalist Annalisa Bugliani. They have two children together. He also has a child from his first marriage, to actress Mariana Elizondo.


Roma (2018)
Gravity (2013)
Children of Men (2006)
Paris, je t'aime (2006)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Y tu mamá también (2001)
Great Expectations (1998)
A Little Princess (1995)
Sólo con tu pareja (Love in the Time of Hysteria) (1991)

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