Baz Luhrmann Biography

Baz Luhrmann photo

Born: September 17, 1962

BAZ LUHRMANN

Birth Name: BazMark Luhrmann

Date of Birth: September 17, 1962

Growing up in New South Wales in Australia, Luhrmann attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney. During his studies at the prestigious university, he was chosen to assist with the play production of The Mahabarata. With that experience under his belt, Luhrmann decided to stage a thirty minute play called Strictly Ballroom. The play went on to win numerous awards at the World Youth Theater Festival.

Luhrmann continued to direct stage plays while in university, and once graduated, he set up an independent theatre group called the Six Years Old Company, where he revived his play Strictly Ballroom. He later began working with operas and produced a 1950's version of La Boheme, Lake Lost and other original works like The Pure Merino Fandango, all of which opened to great acclaim.

Continuing in the musical line, Luhrmann began directing music videos for John Paul Young and Ignatius Jones.

In 1981, he took his first stab at feature films, though not as a director, but as an actor this time. Playing Pete in the film Winter of Our Dreams, he soon followed the stint up with another small performance in The Dark Room a year later. In fact, Luhrmann did not debut as a director in feature films until ten years later with another rendition of his first play Strictly Ballroom.

Like the play, the feature film was a great success, winning awards and nominations from the Australian Film Institute and Toronto International Film festival, to the BAFTA awards. He followed up the success of Strictly Ballroom with the blockbuster, Romeo + Juliet, four years later. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, the popular Shakespearean love story was told in a more contemporary setting, but kept true to the original dialogue and became a hit with young moviegoers. The film became an even greater success, winning him awards from across the globe, including two BAFTA awards. More recently, he directed The Great Gatsby (2013) starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Luhrmann and his wife, Catherine, have two children.

Filmography (director):

The Great Gatsby(2013)
Australia(2008)
Moulin Rouge(2001)
Romeo + Juliet(1996)
Strictly Ballroom(1992)
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