By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 28, 2013 at 12:49AM
Steven Spielberg was born in Ohio in 1946. A film enthusiast from a very young age, one of his first shorts, Amblin – got him through the doors of Universal Television which produced his first films. Success came very quickly: 'Duel' (1971), originally made for television, was so well received that a feature length version was released in theatres.
The first film he made for cinema, 'Sugarland Express,' was selected for the Festival de Cannes in 1974 and won Best Screenplay.
Following these promising auteur debuts, he had a series of international successes: 'Jaws' (1975); 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981) and 'E.T.' (1982) which was presented as the closing film of the Festival de Cannes and was the very last Festival screening shown in the former Palais Croisette theatre.
In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s 'Jurassic Park,'like many of his films, beat all records for box-office takings in the United States: his big budget entertainment movies, of great and varied inspiration, brought about a renewal of the Hollywood entertainment genre, creating new ties with the themes of adventure and sci-fi, and are hugely popular with an extremely wide audience of all ages.
The abundant imagination that characterises Steven Spielberg and has him say of himself “I dream for a living”, is combined with boundless curiosity, a delight in innovation and a virtuoso talent for directing.
Famous for his commercial successes, he also astonishes with his more intimate and socially engaged works which confront audiences head-on: 'The Color Purple' (1986), 'Empire of the Sun' (1987) and 'Schindler’s List' (1993), which brought him the highest accolades as well as a clutch of Oscars, including Best Director.
His filmography is a constant to and fro between dream and reality, switching from entertainment films to serious reflections on history, racism or the human condition, testimony to his hope for a peaceful, reconciled world.
In his 40-year career, he has made 27 films, most of which are important moments in the history of world cinema: everyone has seen, or will one day see 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998), 'Minority Report' (2002), 'Catch Me If You Can' (2002), 'War of the Worlds' (2005), or the recent 'The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn' (2011), his first film in 3D.
His 'Lincoln,' a captivating portrait of the man who abolished slavery in the United States, is currently a huge success in his own country as well as in France where it has already been seen by over a million people. The film enabled Spielberg to set Daniel Day-Lewis up for his third Oscar as Best Actor (no other actor before having accomplished this feat).