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Jonathan Demme Biography

Birth Place:
Baldwin, New York, United States
Director, producer, screenwriter, actor

Fast Facts

  • Aspired to be a veterinarian as a teenager in Miami
  • Made his directorial debut in 1974 with Caged Heat, a tongue-in-cheek women's-prison story
  • Directed films with a broad range of subject matter, including CB radios (Handle with Care, 1977), the Mafia (Married to the Mob, 1988) and AIDS (Philadelphia, 1993)
  • Directed concert films featuring artists such as the Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense, 1984) and Neil Young (Neil Young: Heart of Gold, 2006)
  • Was an avid collector of Haitian art; his private collections have been featured in Manhattan galleries


  • 2009Independent Spirit Awards-Best Feature: nominated
  • 2009Independent Spirit Awards-Best Director: nominated
  • 2008Toronto Film Critics Association-Best Director: winner
  • 1992BAFTA Film Awards-Best Film: nominated
  • 1992BAFTA Film Awards-The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: nominated
  • 1992Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1992César Awards-Best Foreign Film: nominated
  • 1991Oscar-Best Achievement in Directing: winner
  • 1991National Board of Review-Best Director: winner
  • 1991New York Film Critics Circle-Best Director: winner
  • 1991Berlin Film Festival-Silver Bear for Best Director: winner
  • 1991Directors Guild of America Awards-Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: winner
  • 1988Independent Spirit Awards-Best Director: nominated
  • 1980New York Film Critics Circle-Best Director: winner