Spike Lee Biography

Spike Lee photo

Born: March 20, 1957

SPIKE LEE

Date of Birth: March 20, 1957

Born in Atlanta, this talented yet controversial filmmaker was raised in Brooklyn, New York. He returned to his birthplace to study communications at Atlanta's Morehouse College where he first developed an interest in cinema. After graduation, he enrolled in New York University's film school, where his masters thesis film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads won the Student Award of the Motion Picture Academy.

Lee's films are characterized by their exploration of the nature of racism and the social struggles of African Americans. Unable to obtain funding for his early movies, he is critical of Hollywood's attitude towards black filmmakers—creating a cycle of lost opportunity for the major studios and Oscar shut-outs for Lee. (Though he did receive nominations for Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X and 4 Little Girls.)

That Lee is one of the most influential filmmakers of his time is not only a credit to craft, but to his determination as well. "There are some people who think my number one interest in doing films," says Lee, "is dealing with race issues in this country. That's very important to me, but I don't think I make any one type of film."

Lee has two children with his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee.

Filmography (director):

Miracle at St. Anna(2008)
Inside Man(2006)
All the Invisible Children (2005)
Jesus Children of America (2005)
She Hate Me(2004)
25th Hour(2002)
Bamboozled(2000)
The Original Kings of Comedy(2000)
Summer of Sam(1999)
He Got Game(1998)
4 Little Girls (1997)
Get on the Bus (1996)
Girl 6 (1996)
Lumière and Company (1995)
Clockers (1995)
Crooklyn (1994)
Malcolm X(1992)
Jungle Fever(1991)
Mo' Better Blues(1990)
Do the Right Thing(1989)
School Daze(1988)
She's Gotta Have It(1986)
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Sarah (1981)
The Answer (1980)
Last Hustle in Brooklyn (1977)

Filmography (actor):

3 A.M. (2001)
Summer of Sam(1999)
He Got Game(1998)
4 Little Girls (1997)
Get on the Bus (1996)
Girl 6 (1996)
New Jersey Drive (1995)
Tales from the Hood (1995)
Clockers (1995)
Hoop Dreams(1994)
Backbeat (1994)
Crooklyn (1994)
D.R.O.P. Squad (1994)
The Last Party(1993)
Seven Songs for Malcolm X(1993)
Malcolm X(1992)
Fishbone: The Reality of My Surroundings (1991)
Jungle Fever(1991)
Lonely in America (1991)
Mo' Better Blues(1990)
Do the Right Thing(1989)
School Daze(1988)
She's Gotta Have It(1986)
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)

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