Spike Lee

Birthday:

03/20/1957

Place of birth:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA:

Biography:

Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. His mother dubbed him Spike, due to his tough nature. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating, he went to 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. Lee's next film, "The Messenger," in 1984, was somewhat biographical. 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 dollars, and made seven million. Since then, Lee has become a well-known, intelligent, and talented film maker. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and 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. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do the Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood on a very hot day, and the racial tensions that emerge. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination, for Danny Aiello, for supporting actor. It also sparked a debate on racial relations. Lee went on to produce the jazz biopic Mo' Better Blues (1990) which showed his talent for directing and acting, and was the first of many Spike Lee films to feature Denzel Washington. His next film, Jungle Fever (1991), was about interracial dating. Lee's handling of the subject proved yet again highly controversial. Lee's next film was the self-titled biography of Malcolm X (1992), which had Denzel Washington portraying the civil rights leader. The movie was a success, and resulted in an Oscar nomination for Washington. His next films were the comparatively light, Crooklyn (1994), and the intense crime drama, Clockers (1995). In 1996, Lee directed two movies: the badly received comedy, Girl 6 (1996), and the politically pointed, Get on the Bus (1996), about a group of men going to the Million Man March. His next film, He Got Game (1998), proved to be another excursion into the collegiate world as he shows the darker side of recruiting college athletes. The movie, in limited release, yet again featured Denzel Washington. In 2000 came Bamboozled which made a mockery out of television and the way African-Americans are perceived by white America and the way African-Americans perceive themselves. The movie, however, was a resounding critical success. Lee also has produced films like New Jersey Drive (1995), Tales from the Hood (1995), and Drop Squad (1994). He also has produced and or directed movies about Huey P. Newton, Jim Brown, and has commented in many documentaries about varied subjects. With pointed political messages, insightful, different and intelligent films, Spike Lee has become a well known political presence. He looks likely to have further success in the film business. Lee is an obsessive New York Knicks fan. He and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, have two children.



Credits

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists (2018)
Himself
Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 (2018)
Himself
Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking (2018)
Birth of a Movement (2017)
Himself
The Birdwatcherwatcher (2016)
Northeastern Spike Lee
French Cinema Mon Amour (2015)
Himself
Director Spike Lee's New York City (2015)
Himself
Champs (2015)
Himself
Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee (2014)
We the People: From Crispus Attucks to President Barack Obama (2014)
Bad 25 (2012)
Himself
Red Hook Summer (2012)
Mr. Mookie
Brooklyn Boheme (2012)
Himself
A Man's Story (2011)
Himself
Guest (2011)
Himself
On the Shoulders of Giants (2011)
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks (2010)
Himself
PoliWood (2009)
Do the Right Thing: 20 Years Later (2009)
Kobe Doin' Work (2009)
himself
Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans & the Movies (2008)
Pixote, in memorian (2007)
Lights, Action, Music (2007)
By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X (2005)
Himself
How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) (2005)
Through the Fire (2005)
Street Fight (2005)
Himself
Life O The Party: On the Road with Prince and the New Power Generation (2004)
Himself
No Fighting in the War Room Or: Dr Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat (2004)
Himself
Best Sellers: Peter Sellers and Dr. Strangelove (2004)
Interviewee
It's Black Entertainment (2002)
Himself
3 A.M. (2001)
Filmmaker
The Making of Bamboozled (2001)
Lisa Picard Is Famous (2000)
Spike Lee
Michael Jordan to the Max (2000)
Himself
Summer of Sam (1999)
John Jeffries
The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money (1998)
Himself
4 Little Girls (1997)
Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)
When We Were Kings (1996)
Himself
The Universal Story (1996)
Self (archive footage)
Girl 6 (1996)
Jimmy
Clockers (1995)
Chucky
NBA Below the Rim (1995)
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Crooklyn (1994)
Snuffy
A Century of Cinema (1994)
Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993)
Farewell, Babylon! (1993)
self
The Last Party (1993)
Himself
Malcolm X (1992)
Shorty
Our Hollywood Education (1992)
Jungle Fever (1991)
Cyrus
Branford Marsalis: Steep (1991)
Lonely in America (1990)
Himself
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Giant
Spike Lee & Company: Do It a Cappella (1990)
Self
Decade (1989)
Himself
Making 'Do the Right Thing' (1989)
Himself
First Works (1989)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Mookie
School Daze (1988)
Darrell "Half-Pint" Dunlap
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Mars Blackmon
Speedy 2 (2028)
Director
Prince of Cats (2022)
Director
Prince of Cats (2022)
Screenplay
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Director
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Producer
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Screenplay
3 Brothers: Radio Raheem, Eric Garner and George Floyd (2020)
Director
3 Brothers: Radio Raheem, Eric Garner and George Floyd (2020)
Writer
New York New York (2020)
Director
See You Yesterday (2019)
Producer
Impact (2019)
Director
Land of the Free (2019)
Director
Amazing Grace (2018)
Producer
Cherish (2018)
Executive Producer
BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Director
BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Producer
BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Screenplay
Tales from the Hood 2 (2018)
Executive Producer
Time 2 Surrender (2018)
Executive Producer
Nigerian Prince (2018)
Executive Producer
Black 14 (2018)
Executive Producer
Pass Over (2018)
Director
Rodney King (2017)
Director
Rodney King (2017)
Producer
Brave, Visions for Moncler (2017)
Director
2 Fists Up (2016)
Director
2 Fists Up (2016)
Producer
Wake Up (2016)
Director
Touched with Fire (2016)
Executive Producer
Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall (2016)
Director
Chi-Raq (2015)
Director
Chi-Raq (2015)
Producer
Chi-Raq (2015)
Writer
The Girl Is in Trouble (2015)
Executive Producer
Ray Allen/AKA- Jesus Shuttlesworth (2015)
Director
Cronies (2015)
Executive Producer
Throw Like A Girl (2014)
Director
Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store (2014)
Director
Katt Williams: Priceless: Afterlife (2014)
Director
Katt Williams: Priceless: Afterlife (2014)
Producer
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
Director
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
Producer
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
Screenplay
Amex Unstaged Pharrell Williams Live at the Apollo (2014)
Director
Dirty Hands (2014)
Executive Producer
Evolution of a Criminal (2014)
Executive Producer
I Can't Breathe (2014)
Director
I Can't Breathe (2014)
Writer
Go Brasil Go! (2014)
Director
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (2013)
Director
Oldboy (2013)
Director
Oldboy (2013)
Producer
Bad 25 (2012)
Director
Red Hook Summer (2012)
Director
Red Hook Summer (2012)
Screenplay
You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You (2012)
Executive Producer
Una Noche (2012)
Presenter
Pariah (2011)
Executive Producer
Doubles with Slight Pepper (2011)
Executive Producer
Da Brick (2011)
Director
Michael Jackson: VIDEOGRAPHY (2010)
Director
Saint John of Las Vegas (2010)
Executive Producer
Passing Strange (2009)
Director
Do the Right Thing: 20 Years Later (2009)
Director
Kobe Doin' Work (2009)
Director
Kobe Doin' Work (2009)
Producer
Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
Director
Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
Producer
Genesis: Come Rain or Shine (2008)
Camera Operator
Lovers & Haters (2007)
Director
M.O.N.Y. (2007)
Director
Inside Man (2006)
Director
Jesus Children of America (2005)
Director
All the Invisible Children (2005)
Director
C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2005)
Presenter
Sucker Free City (2004)
Director
She Hate Me (2004)
Director
She Hate Me (2004)
Producer
She Hate Me (2004)
Screenplay
Good Fences (2003)
Executive Producer
25th Hour (2002)
Director
25th Hour (2002)
Producer
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002)
Director
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002)
Producer
Jim Brown: All-American (2002)
Director
Jim Brown: All-American (2002)
Producer
The Concert for New York City (2001)
Director
Come Rain or Come Shine (2001)
Director
Home Invaders (2001)
Executive Producer
3 A.M. (2001)
Co-Executive Producer
3 A.M. (2001)
Producer
A Huey P. Newton Story (2001)
Director
The Making of Bamboozled (2001)
Director
Bamboozled (2000)
Director
Bamboozled (2000)
Producer
Bamboozled (2000)
Screenplay
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Director
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Producer
Love & Basketball (2000)
Producer
Un matin partout dans le monde (2000)
Director
The Best Man (1999)
Producer
Summer of Sam (1999)
Director
Summer of Sam (1999)
Producer
Summer of Sam (1999)
Screenplay
Pavarotti & Friends 99 for Guatemala and Kosovo (1999)
Director
John Leguizamo: Freak (1998)
Director
Pavarotti & Friends 5 - For the Children of Liberia (1998)
Director
He Got Game (1998)
Director
He Got Game (1998)
Producer
He Got Game (1998)
Screenplay
4 Little Girls (1997)
Director
4 Little Girls (1997)
Producer
4 Little Girls (1997)
Writer
HIStory on Film, Volume II (1997)
Director
Get on the Bus (1996)
Director
Girl 6 (1996)
Director
Girl 6 (1996)
Producer
Clockers (1995)
Director
Clockers (1995)
Producer
Clockers (1995)
Screenplay
Tales from the Hood (1995)
Executive Producer
New Jersey Drive (1995)
Executive Producer
Lumière and Company (1995)
Director
Drop Squad (1994)
Executive Producer
Crooklyn (1994)
Director
Crooklyn (1994)
Producer
Crooklyn (1994)
Screenplay
Malcolm X (1992)
Director
Malcolm X (1992)
Producer
Malcolm X (1992)
Screenplay
Prince and the N.P.G.: Diamonds and Pearls Video Collection (1992)
Director
Jungle Fever (1991)
Director
Jungle Fever (1991)
Producer
Jungle Fever (1991)
Screenplay
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Director
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Producer
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Writer
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Director
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Producer
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Screenplay
School Daze (1988)
Director
School Daze (1988)
Producer
School Daze (1988)
Writer
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Director
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Editor
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Producer
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Writer
Horn of Plenty (1986)
Director
Horn of Plenty (1986)
Writer
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Director
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Editor
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Producer
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Writer
Sarah (1981)
Director
The Answer (1980)
Director
Last Hustle in Brooklyn (1979)
Director
American Utopia ()
Director
American Utopia ()
Executive Producer