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Spike Lee

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Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating from Morehouse, Lee attended the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer, a reworking of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation - a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, which won a student Academy Award.In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It, a comedy about sexual relationships. The movie was made for $175,000, and earned $7 million at the box office, which launched his career and allowed him to found his own production company, 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks. His next movie was School Daze, which was set in a historically black school, focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities, of which he was a strong critic, portraying them as materialistic, irresponsible, and uncaring. With his School Daze profits, Lee went on to make his landmark film, Do the Right Thing, a movie based specifically his own neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed the racial tensions that emerge in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood on one very hot day. The movie garnered Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay, for Danny Aiello for supporting actor, and sparked a debate on racial relations.Lee went on to produce the jazz biopic Mo' Better Blues, the first of many Spike Lee films to feature Denzel Washington, including the biography of Malcolm X, in which Denzel Washington portrayed the civil rights leader. The movie was a success, and garnering an Oscar nomination for Washington. The pair would work together again on, He Got Game, an excursion into the collegiate world showing the darker side of recruiting college athletes, as well as the 2006 film Inside Man.Spike Lee's role as a documentarian has expanded over the years, highlighted by his part in Lumière and Company, the Oscar-nominated 4 Little Girls, to his Peabody Award-winning biographical adaptation of Black Panther leader in A Huey P. Newton Story, through his 2005 Emmy Award-winning examination of post-Katrina New Orleans in When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and its follow-up five years later in If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise.Through his production company 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Lee continues to create and direct both independent films and projects for major studios, as well as working on story development, creating an internship program for aspiring filmmakers, releasing music, and community outreach and support.He is married to Tonya Lewis Lee, and they have two sons, Satchel and Jackson.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Bill Nunn -- 'Radio Raheem' Actor Dead At 62

Bill Nunn
'Radio Raheem' Actor Dead At 62

Bill Nunn who rose to fame as "Radio Raheem" in Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" has died ... according to the director.  Lee posted a lengthy tribute to Raheem Saturday, saying the actor… READ MORE >

Spike Lee -- Knicks Need to Sign Joakim ... Doubtful On KD (VIDEO)

Spike Lee
Knicks Need to Sign Joakim ... Doubtful On KD

Good news for Knicks fans -- Spike Lee seems pretty optimistic about signing Joakim Noah.  Bad news for Knicks fans -- He's not too confident about Kevin Durant.  The Knicks mega-fan… READ MORE >

- 160 days ago
The Oscars -- Academy Members Vote ... We'll Be Less White

The Oscars
Academy Members Vote ... We'll Be Less White

The Motion Picture Academy is getting some "brothas on the wall" -- to quote Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" -- after unanimously voting to increase its minority and female membership.… READ MORE >

- 317 days ago
Spike Lee -- Hollywood Needs a 'Rooney Rule'

Spike Lee
Hollywood Needs a Rooney Rule

Spike Lee says Hollywood needs to take its cue from the NFL -- forcing studios to institute a "Rooney Rule" ... requiring studios to greenlight a certain number of movies featuring minorities. Lee… READ MORE >

- 319 days ago
Spike Lee -- I Never Called for Oscar Boycott (VIDEO)

Spike Lee
I Never Called for Oscar Boycott

Spike Lee has corrected the media for reporting he was calling for an Oscar boycott. Spike appeared on 'GMA' and made it clear ... blasting the Academy for shutting out black actors and… READ MORE >

- 319 days ago
Motion Picture Academy Prez:  I Hear You ... We'll Change, I Promise!

Motion Pic Academy Prez
I Hear You ... We'll Change, I Promise!

The President of the Motion Picture Academy has issued what feels like a frantic response to calls of boycott for the lily white 2016 Oscar nominations. Prez Cheryl Boone Isaacs just announced her… READ MORE >

- 320 days ago
Spike Lee -- I'm Skipping 'Lilly White' Oscars ... in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Spike Lee
I'm Skipping 'Lilly White' Oscars ... In Honor of MLK Jr.

Spike Lee is blasting the Oscars for its lack of "flava" and says he won't attend the "lilly white" ceremony because MLK Jr. would want it that way. In his scathing message to the Motion Picture… READ MORE >

- 321 days ago
LeBron James -- Huge Stars Come Out for Cavs Opener ... Bieber, Manziel, Strahan

LeBron James
Huge Stars Out for Cavs Opener ... Bieber, Manziel, Strahan

LeBron James was welcomed back to Cleveland last night by a huge band of celebs -- including Justin Bieber, Michael Strahan and even Johnny Manziel.The Cavs lost in Bron's first game back with his… READ MORE >

- 765 days ago
Michael Rapaport -- Squashes Beef with Spike Lee ... But Fires One Last Shot!

Michael Rapaport
Squashes Beef with Spike Lee But Fires One Last Shot!

The war may be over -- but NY Knicks superfan Michael Rapaport couldn't help but take one last shot at Spike Lee ... and it was pretty hilarious. Lee and Rapaport had been feuding for months… READ MORE >

- 775 days ago
Brad Pitt & Spike Lee -- We're Cousins!!!

Brad Pitt & Spike Lee
We're Cousins!!!

This might be the coolest family connection ever -- Brad Pitt and Spike Lee ARE COUSINS ... 12th cousins sure ... BUT STILL!!!The people over at Geni.com (a genealogy website) just made the… READ MORE >

- 1004 days ago

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