Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Michael Cimino Biography

Birth Place:
New York, New York, United States
Director, writer, producer

Fast Facts

  • 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


  • 1986César Awards-Best Foreign Film: nominated
  • 1980BAFTA Film Awards-Best Direction: nominated
  • 1979Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: winner
  • 1979Writers Guild Awards-Original Drama: nominated
  • 1978Oscar-Best Achievement in Directing: winner
  • 1978Oscar-Best Motion Picture of the Year: winner
  • 1978Oscar-Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen): nominated
  • 1978Los Angeles Film Critics Association-Best Director: winner
  • 1978Directors Guild of America Awards-Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: winner