Steven Spielberg: Interesting Information

I have been a film buff since childhood and in recent months have reconnected with dozens of old favorites thanks to channels that include AMC, Netflix, ROKU, and TCM.

For background information, I think these are the best sources:

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars)

American Film Institute (AFI)

Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Wikipedia (Wiki)

* * *

For example, Steven Spielberg (born in 1946) is one of the most iimportant people throughout film history. Briefly, according to IMDb:

o He is an active and generous supporter of the Democratic Party. In 1996, he donated $100,000 to the Party. He also favored Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.
o He is among the richest individuals in Hollywood.
o In 1998, he received the Germany’s Cross of Merit with star for his sensible representation of Germany’s history in Schindler’s List (1993).
o On 31 October 1997, he was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as the most powerful person in entertainment in 1997.
o On 23 September 1997, he was involved in road accident and treated for an injured shoulder.
In 1995, he was given the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
o There are seven children in the Capshaw-Spielberg family: Theo Spielberg, who was adopted by Kate Capshaw before their marriage and later adopted by Spielberg; born in 1988, Sasha Spielberg, born on 14 May 1990; Sawyer Spielberg, born on 10 March 1992; their adopted daughter Mikaela George Spielberg, born on 28 February 1996, and Destry Allen Spielberg, born on 1 December 1996. Kate Capshaw‘s daughter Jessica Capshaw, born in 1976, is from her previous marriage. Steven Spielberg’s son Max Spielberg, born in 1985, is from his previous marriage to Amy Irving.
o He claims Richard Dreyfuss is his alter-ego.
o He attended California State University-Long Beach after being turned down by USC Cinema school twice.
o He attended Arcadia High School in Phoenix.
o In 1995, awarded second annual John Huston Award for Artists Rights by the Artists Rights Foundation.
o He was the co-founder (with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) of DreamWorks SKG.
o He has one of the original Rosebud sleds from Citizen Kane (1941) in his house.
o He is the godfather of Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow.
o In September 1999, he was named Best Director of the 20th Century in an Entertainment Weekly on-line poll, substantially beating out runners-up Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.
o He born to Arnold Spielberg, a computer engineer, and Leah Adler, née Posner, a restaurateur and concert pianist.
o He received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the U. S. Navy’s highest civilian honor, on Veterans Day 1999 for his work on the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998).
o He sits on USC School of Cinema-Television’s Board of Councilors.
o When he was a child, he sneaked onto the lot of Universal Studios during a tour and befriended an editor who showed him a few things about filmmaking.
o Gwyneth Paltrow calls him Uncle Morty.
o During filming of their episode of Night Gallery (1969), Spielberg gave Joan Crawford the gift of a single red rose in a Pepsi bottle. During an on-set conversation with Detroit Free Press reporter Shirley Eder, Crawford pointed out Spielberg and said, “Go interview that kid, because he’s going to be the biggest director of all time!” Crawford and Spielberg remained good friends until her death in 1977.
o In December 2000. he was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in New Years Honours 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the British film industry. As a non-Commonwealth citizen, he will not be able to use the title.
o He states that the work of David Lean has had a profound effect on his career.
o He spent five months developing the script for Rain Man (1988) with Ronald Bass, but had to commit to his handshake deal to direct Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Spielberg gave all of his notes to Barry Levinson.
o He almost directed Big (1988) with Tom Hanks starring, but didn’t want to steal the thunder of his sister, Anne Spielberg, who co-wrote the script.
o He personally offered the American Beauty (1999) script to Sam Mendes, who ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Director on the film, which was Mendes’s debut feature.
o He flew Will Smith to his Hamptons home via helicopter to offer him the part in Men in Black (1997).
o He often casts new actors based on their performances in other works. He rarely requires auditions for major roles.
To learn more about Steven Spielberg, please click here.
* * *

The notion of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) began with Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). He said he wanted to create an organization that would mediate labor disputes without unions and improve the industry’s image. He met with actor Conrad Nagel, director Fred Niblo, and the head of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, Fred Beetson, to discuss these matters. The idea of this elite club having an annual banquet was discussed, but no mention of awards at that time. They also established that membership into the organization would only be open to people involved in one of the five branches of the industry: actors, directors, writers, technicians, and producers.

After their brief meeting, Mayer gathered up a group of thirty-six people involved in the film industry and invited them to a formal banquet at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on January 11, 1927. That evening Mayer presented to those guests what he called the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Everyone in the room that evening became a founder of the Academy. Between that evening and when the official Articles of Incorporation for the organization were filed on May 4, 1927, the “International” was dropped from the name, becoming the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

* * *

IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is an online database of information related to films, television programs, home videos, video games, and streaming content online – including cast, production crew and personal biographies, plot summaries, trivia, ratings, and fan and critical reviews. An additional fan feature, message boards, was abandoned in February 2017. Originally a fan-operated website, the database is owned and operated by, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.

As of January 2020, IMDb has approximately 6.5 million titles (including episodes) and 10.4 million personalities in its database, as well as 83 million registered users.

IMDb began as a movie database on the Usenet group “rec.arts.movies” in 1990 and moved to the web in 1993.

* * *

Wikipediawas launched on January 15, 2001, and was created by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined its name as a portmanteau of the words “wiki” (Hawaiian for “quick”) and “encyclopedia.” Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects.



Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.