Kathryn Bigelow Biography

Kathryn Bigelow photo

Born: November 27, 1951


Date of Birth: November 27, 1951

This talented artist from San Carlos, California re-channelled her talents from art to filmmaking after years of study at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. The only child of a paint factory manager and librarian decided to enhance her art knowledge by enrolling in Columbia's film school to focus on theory and criticism, rather than production.

She released her first short film entitled Set-Up which was a form of art in itself as the viewer watches two men fight while listening to an essay on violence. Garnering notice, Bigelow was offered work as a co-writer-director of the film The Loveless released a few years later. Though it had little effect on the general public, this eccentric art movie impressed producer-writer-director Walter Hill, who gave Bigelow a development deal when she moved to Los Angeles.

Five years later in 1987 she released the Country & Western-flavoured vampire movie Near Dark. Putting a twist on the old genre by having the vampires the protagonist was new and refreshing for both critics and viewers alike. She then released two popular films, Blue Steel (1990) starring Jamie Lee Curtis as a cop and Point Break (1991) with Keanu Reeves as an undercover cop infiltrating a water surfing gang.

After spending a few years working for the small screen directing a few episodes for Homicide: Life on the Streets and the mini-series Wild Palms, Bigalow returned to feature film work. In 2010, she made history when she was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for her work on the war movie The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture. Her next project was the thriller Zero Dark Thirty (2012), about the search for Osama bin Laden. The film starred Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Ehle and received an Academy Award nomination in 2013 for Best Picture. Kathryn's most recent directorial feature is 2017's Detroit starring John Boyega.

Currently single and living with two dogs and one cat, Bigalow was once married to fellow director James Cameron.

Filmography (director):

Detroit (2017)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
The Hurt Locker (2009)
Mission Zero (2007)
The Weight of Water (2002)
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Strange Days (1995)
Point Break (1991)
Blue Steel (1990)
Near Dark (1987)
The Loveless (1982)
The Set-Up (1978)
  Change Location