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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 »

Katt Williams -- Quentin Tarantino Has No Business Using the N-Word

Katt Williams
Quentin Tarantino Has No Business Using the N-Word

In between getting out of jail and getting in the middle of a parking lot brawl, Katt Williams took the time to talk to TMZ about "Django Unchained" ... and threatened to beat the crap out… READ MORE >

N-Word in 'Django Unchained' -- You Be the Judge

"Django Unchained"
N-Word Controversy You Be the Judge

Spike Lee is boycotting Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" because the N-word is used 110 times. Interesting, since Spike has used the N-word in some of his flicks. So we gotta ask ...  READ MORE >

- 1247 days ago
'Chappelle's Show' Star Blasts Spike Lee -- CHILL! 'Django' Is Just a Film

"Chappelle's Show" Star
Blasts Spike Lee CHILL! Django's Just a Film

Spike Lee needs to relax ... so says "Chappelle's Show" star Donnell Rawlings, who tells TMZ, the n-word-filled "Django Unchained" is a fun movie with a happy ending ... and THAT'S IT.Rawlings was… READ MORE >

- 1248 days ago
Sarah Silverman Defends 'Django Unchained' -- Let the N-Word Flow!

Sarah Silverman
DEFENDS 'Django' ... Let the N-Word Flow!

Spike Lee is breaking a sacred rule by criticizing "Django Unchained" for its pervasive use of the n-word -- so says Sarah Silverman ... who tells TMZ, art is art ... and "you can't tell art what… READ MORE >

- 1250 days ago
Spike Lee RIPS Quentin Tarantino -- 'Django' is Disrespectful to My Ancestors

Spike Lee
RIPS 'DJANGO' Movie Is 'Disrespectful to My Ancestors'

Spike Lee says he REFUSES to see Quentin Tarantino's new flick, "Django Unchained" when it opens tomorrow ... claiming the slavery-revenge movie is "disrespectful to my ancestors."Lee first went… READ MORE >

- 1252 days ago
Mike Tyson -- 'I Was a Prostitute HUNTER!'

Mike Tyson
"I Was a Prostitute HUNTER!"

Mike Tyson had a serious problem with banging hookers -- a confession he blurted out during a bizarre interview on live TV.Iron Mike was on NBC Today when Ann Curry asked him about becoming vegan… READ MORE >

- 1440 days ago
Mike Tyson -- Broadway Play Will Be a Spike Lee Joint

Mike Tyson
Broadway Play Will Be a Spike Lee Joint

You can add "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" to Spike Lee's legendary resumé ... because TMZ has learned the director will helm the one-man show when it comes to Broadway later this… READ MORE >

- 1455 days ago
Spike Lee -- Mea Culpa for Retweeting Innocent Couple's Address in Trayvon Martin Tragedy

Spike Lee -- Mea Culpa
for Incorrect Retweet of Trayvon Shooter's Address

Spike Lee is doing the right thing ... finally apologizing for retweeting a home address he thought belonged to George Zimmerman -- and for inadvertently putting an elderly couple in harm's way.… READ MORE >

- 1523 days ago
Lindsay Lohan -- Do the Spike Thing

Lindsay Lohan
Do the Spike Thing

Lindsay Lohan befriended the most famous New York Knicks fan, Spike Lee, during last night's Knicks/Lakers game at the Staples Center. LiLo and Spike both went home losers -- Lakers won 109-87. READ MORE >

- 1966 days ago
Spike Lee Explodes: I'm So Much Better Than You!

Spike Lee Explodes:
I'm So Much Better Than You!

Spike Lee went completely ballistic on our photog last night in New York, calling him a "hack" and backing his argument with one of the lamest lines we've ever heard: "What films you made? Did you… READ MORE >

- 2627 days ago

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