Biography

Although this iconic filmmaker is routinely hailed as one of the most influential directors of his generation, his jam-packed trophy case (which includes two Golden Globes, a Palm d'Or from Cannes and two New York Film Critics Circle Awards) was missing an Oscar until 2007. While it was an honor way too long in coming, Scorsese never really needed a little gold man to validate his superlative talents, not only as a director but also as a writer, producer and sometime actor. A native New Yorker, Scorsese was a sickly child, and while his peers were carousing in the streets, he was developing a passion for cinema, whether it was slick Hollywood classics or arty foreign films. He began making shorts while earning his master's in filmmaking at New York University. In 1967, he won kudos for his extremely bloody short The Big Shave, and also filmed his first feature-length (if no-budget) flick, Who's That Knocking at My Door?, starring Harvey Keitel. Five years later, after various cinema-related gigs (including a stint editing the documentary Woodstock), Scorsese landed his first proper directing job, helming the B-movie Boxcar Bertha for schlock producer Roger Corman. But it was his next film, Mean Streets, which he also produced and cowrote, that defined his signature, kinetic style. The violent tale of thugs trying to survive in Little Italy, the film starred Keitel and Robert De Niro, who would become Scorsese's muse. Their next collaboration, Taxi Driver, expanded on Scorsese's haunting vision of a world gone mad, in which a homicidal loner could be embraced as a hero. Although Taxi Driver earned Oscar nods for best film and for actors De Niro and Jodie Foster (as a 12-year-old hooker), Scorsese didn't even score a nomination. His next movie, the tuner New York, New York, both a tribute to his hometown and the golden age of Hollywood musicals, went bust, although it did introduce him to Liza Minnelli, with whom he allegedly had an affair. (He went on to direct her in the 1977 Broadway musical The Act, although theater veteran Gower Champion was brought in to "advise" him and ultimately relieved him of duty.) Since the '70s were a decade of excess, Scorsese, like many of his peers, suffered from a drug problem, but his friend De Niro helped get him back on track when they went to work on 1980's Raging Bull. The story of a boxer who's even more violent when he's out of the ring, the film earned De Niro his second Oscar and Scorsese his first Oscar nod. After the flop King of Comedy (a satire of celebrity that was later given its due) and the quirky indie comedy After Hours, Scorsese proved he could indeed play the Hollywood game by helming his first true mainstream picture: The Color of Money, a sequel to The Hustler that starred Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. In 1988, he stirred up controversy by filming Nikos Kazantzakis' novel The Last Temptation of Christ, which contained scenes depicting Jesus leading a secular life. But considering Scorsese was a guilt-ridden Catholic boy who had considered a career in the priesthood, the outcry seemed unwarranted. In reality, the film was a loving tribute to faith. Two years later, he followed up with the gangster epic Goodfellas, which marked an important shift in the tone of his work. Subsequent films (Cape Fear, Casino, Gangs of New York, The Aviator) were critically acclaim

Fast Facts

  • Entered a seminary after grade school intending to become a priest.
  • After attending NYU, he taught film there; his students included Oliver Stone and Spike Lee.
  • One of his first credits was as co-supervising editor on the classic 1970 rockumentary Woodstock.
  • Directed the music video for Michael Jackson's "Bad."
  • Was listed in Time's 2007 list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Awards

  • 1990, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2005, Grammy — Best Long Form Music Video: Winner
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or Special: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Nonfiction Series: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming: Nominee
  • 1995, Emmy — Outstanding Cultural Program: Nominee
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1994, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1980, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2002, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1988, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2004, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1990, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
  • 1993, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: Nominee
  • 2010, Golden Globe — Cecil B. DeMille Award: Winner
  • 2006, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
  • 1990, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Winner
  • 1983, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Direction: Nominee
  • 2004, BAFTA Film Awards — The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: Nominee
  • 1976, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Direction: Nominee
  • 1990, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Film: Winner
  • 2012, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1995, Venice Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement: Winner
  • 2012, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2012, Emmy — Outstanding Nonfiction Special: Winner
  • 2006, BAFTA Film Awards — The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: Nominee
  • 2011, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2012, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming: Winner
  • 0, — :
  • 0, — :
  • 1990, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Achievement in Direction: Winner
  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Documentary: Nominee
  • 2013, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
  • 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming: Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2012, David di Donatello Awards — Best Foreign Film: Nominee
  • 2013, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 2011, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Nominee
  • 2014, David di Donatello Awards — Best Foreign Film: Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 2013, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Nonfiction Series: Nominee
  • 1975, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Direction: Nominee
  • 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Academy Fellowship: Winner

Relationships

  • Catherine Scorsese — Mother
  • Domenica Cameron-Scorsese — Daughter
  • Helen Morris — Wife
  • Julia Cameron — Ex-wife
  • Laraine Marie Brennan — Ex-wife
  • Barbara De Fina — Ex-wife
  • Catherine Scorsese — Daughter
  • Frank Scorsese — Brother
  • Charles Scorsese — Father
  • Isabella Rossellini — Ex-wife
  • Francesca Scorsese — Daughter

College

  • New York University, New York, NY (BS in Film, 1964; MA in Film, 1966)

Next On TVSee all »

Details

  • Birth Name: Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese
  • Birth Place: Queens, NY
  • Birthday: November 17, 1942, Scorpio
  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor
  • User Rating:4.66 out of 5 (32 ratings)
  • Your Rating:

Trending TonightSee all »