- Started out in the film industry directing commercials and writing screenplays.
- Wrote two successful scripts, Silent Running and Magnum Force, before being offered his feature-film directorial debut for a screenplay he wrote for the 1974 Clint Eastwood vehicle Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.
- Best known as writer and director of the 1978 war drama The Deer Hunter, which won five Academy Awards.
- Nearly ruined his reputation as a writer and director with 1980's Heaven's Gate, a commercial and critical flop.
- Wrote a novel, Big Jane, in 2001.
- 1978, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
- 1980, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Direction: Nominee
- 1978, Oscar — Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen): Nominee
- 1978, Oscar — Best Motion Picture of the Year: Winner
- 0, — :
- 1978, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Winner
- 1979, Writers Guild Awards — Original Drama: Nominee
- 1979, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
- Joann Carelli — Ex-significant Other
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States (BA, 1959); Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (BFA in Painting, 1961; MFA in Painting, 1963)
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