Spike Lee

  • Birth Name: Shelton Jackson Lee
  • Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Profession: Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Fast Facts

  • His 10-minute student movie for grad school was called The Answer, about a black screenwriter hired to pen a remake of Birth of a Nation.
  • Has directed numerous TV commercials for companies such as Nike, AT&T and Levi's, and music videos for Public Enemy, Michael Jackson and Anita Baker.
  • Due to the mounting production cost of his 1992 biopic Malcolm X, solicited financial assistance from Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and others so that the film could be completed.
  • Numerous honors include Sports Emmys for programs that aired on HBO—one on Mike Tyson, the other on former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson.
  • First movie to reach No. 1 at the box office was He Got Game (1998).
  • Won the 2006 George Polk Award for documentary journalism for his HBO series When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts; a follow-up film, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise, was released in 2010.
  • Has published several books on filming techniques.
  • Most of his movies are referred to in the credits as "A Spike Lee Joint.".

Awards

  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1989, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Nominee
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  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming: Winner
  • 1997, Berlin Film Festival — Special Mention: Winner
  • 1997, Oscar — Best Documentary (Feature): Nominee
  • 2001, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature: Nominee
  • 1998, Emmy — Outstanding Non-Fiction Special: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking: Winner
  • 2015, Oscar — Honorary Award: Winner
  • 2019, Guldbagge Award — Best Foreign Movie: Nominee
  • 2018, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 2019, Producers Guild Awards — Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: Nominee
  • 1987, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature: Winner
  • 2019, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Director: Nominee
  • 2019, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2018, Cannes Film Festival — Grand Prix: Winner
  • 2018, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
  • 2019, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Winner
  • 2018, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Nominee
  • 2018, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 2019, Writers Guild Awards — Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — Special Award (Film): Winner
  • 2020, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature: Nominee

Relationships

  • Chris Lee — Brother
  • William James Edwards Lee III — Father
  • Jacqueline Carroll — Mother
  • Jacquelyn Shelton Lee — Mother
  • Joie Lee — Sister
  • Malcolm D. Lee — Cousin
  • Cinque Lee — Brother
  • Jackson — Son
  • Cinqué Lee — Brother
  • Jackson Lewis Lee — Son
  • David Lee — Brother
  • Satchel Lee — Daughter
  • Susan Kaplan — Stepmother
  • Tonya Lewis Lee — Wife
  • Arnold Lee — Half Brother
  • Tonya Lewis — Wife
  • William James Edward Lee II — Father
  • Satchel — Daughter

College

  • Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, United States (BA in Communications, 1979); New York University, New York, New York, United States (MFA in Filmmaking, 1982)
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