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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 (1980), a reworking of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915), a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983) which won a student Academy Award. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), 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 and a Mule Filmworks. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set at 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 (1988) profits, Lee went on to make his landmark film, Do the Right Thing (1989), 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 and direct the jazz biopic Mo' Better Blues (1990), the first of many Spike Lee films to feature Denzel Washington, including the biography of Malcolm X (1992), in which Washington portrayed the civil rights leader. The movie was a success, and garnered an Oscar nomination for Washington. The pair would work together again on He Got Game (1998), an excursion into the collegiate world showing the darker side of college athletic recruiting, as well as the 2006 film Inside Man (2006). Spike Lee's role as a documentarian has expanded over the years, highlighted by his participation in Lumière and Company (1995), the Oscar-nominated 4 Little Girls (1997), to his Peabody Award-winning biographical adaptation of Black Panther leader in A Huey P. Newton Story (2001), through his 2005 Emmy Award-winning examination of post-Katrina New Orleans in When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) and its follow-up five years later If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise (2010). Through his production company 40 Acres and 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 »

Spike Lee, Prince Estate Sued for Allegedly Ripping Off 'Girl 6' Song

Spike Lee, Prince Estate Sued
'Girl 6' Theme Copied My Song

Fresh off his very first Oscar win, Spike Lee's got a new legal headache ... over one of his movies from the '90s and a Prince song. Longtime friends Prince and Spike teamed up for his 1996 flick,… READ MORE >

Jamie Foxx Congratulates Spike Lee For His First Oscar Win

Jamie Foxx
Congratulations to Spike ... 1st Oscar Win Was a Long Time Coming

Jamie Foxx couldn't be happier for Spike Lee after he won his first Oscar ever, because he thinks the honor was long overdue ... and couldn't have gone to someone more worthy. Jamie shared his… READ MORE >

- 84 days ago
Spike Lee Tells Voters to 'Do the Right Thing' in 2020 After Oscars Win

Spike Lee
Voters, 'Do The Right Thing' in 2020 ... Gets Political at Oscars

Spike Lee finally won an Oscar on Sunday, but the big takeaway from his acceptance speech was the renowned director telling voters to "do the right thing" in 2020. Spike took home the Oscar for… READ MORE >

- 84 days ago
Spike Lee Boycotting Gucci and Prada Over 'Blackface Hateful Imagery'

Spike Lee
I'm Done with Prada & Gucci!!! Rips 'em for 'Coonery and Buffoonery'

3:17 PM PT -- T.I. just weighed in on the controversy, saying he's going to stop buying Gucci and also calling on people to boycott the brand. The rapper says he's been… READ MORE >

- 100 days ago
Jay-Z Demands African-American Arbitrator in Dispute Over Roc Nation Logo

I Demand a Black Arbitrator To Handle Roc Nation Logo Dispute

4:00 PM PT -- The judge has granted the TRO, staying the arbitration until the next court date. Spiro tells TMZ that the order "is a victory for everyone."To paraphrase Spike Lee's "Do the… READ MORE >

- 172 days ago
Josh Gordon Gets Spike Lee Tattoo, Mars Blackmon!!

Josh Gordon
Gets Spike Lee Tat ... Mars Blackmon!!

It's gotta be the knee!!!! At least, that's what we think Josh Gordon was saying when he decided to throw a tat of Spike Lee on his right leg this week. The New England Patriots wideout hit the… READ MORE >

- 213 days ago
Caron Butler: Mark Wahlberg Directing My Movie Would Be a Dream Come True!!

Mark Wahlberg
I Want You to Direct My Movie!! ... Says Caron Butler

Mark Wahlberg wants to direct the movie based on Caron Butler's life ... and guess who's super stoked to hear that?? CARON BUTLER!! TMZ Sports spoke with Tuff Juice about Marky Mark wanting to… READ MORE >

- 492 days ago
Bella Hadid Goes Full Bust At Knicks, Lakers Game

Bella Hadid
Busting Out ... at Lakers-Knicks

There were TONS of huge stars at the Knicks vs. Lakers game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday ... but, for some reason, everyone seemed to have their eyes on Bella Hadid.  So, we present… READ MORE >

- 523 days ago
Spike Lee Pushing Rally for Colin Kaepernick at NFL HQ

Spike Lee
Pushing Rally for Colin Kaepernick ... at NFL HQ

Spike Lee is clearly fed up that Colin Kaepernick is unemployed -- and now he's going to bat for the QB.  The legendary director of movies like "Do the Right Thing," "Jungle Fever" and… READ MORE >

- 650 days ago
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 >

- 968 days ago
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