Film director, producer, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. A pioneer of the New Hollywood era, he popularized the genre of escapist films. As of 2020, he is the highest-grossing film director in history. He has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice.
Popular film director, screenwriter, and producer, Quentin Tarantino, first rose to fame as an independent filmmaker in the early 1990s. His films are known for their nonlinear story-lines and neo-noir elements and have garnered both critical and commercial success. He is the winner of two Academy Awards and has been called "the single most influential director of his generation."
Ron Howard started his career in the show business as an actor, but it was in direction that he found his true calling. He is highly respected for his craft and films like Solo: A Star Wars Story, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. He won the Academy Award for the Best Director for A Breautiful Mind.
Martin Scorsese is widely considered one of the most influential and significant film directors in the history of the American film industry. One of the most decorated film directors, Scorsese has nine Oscar nominations, the most for any living director. He has also founded many non-profit organizations like The Film Foundation and World Cinema Foundation.
The quintessential filmmaker of gothic fantasy films in Hollywood, Tim Burton's contribution to the long list of American film industry's quirky movies is immense. Since he is also an artist and animator, he is perhaps best-suited for making the kind of films that he has made so far - Edward Scissorhands, Planet of the Apes, and Alice in Wonderland.
Regarded as one of the greatest American filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick was the maker of acclaimed movies like Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Barry Lyndon. Stanley Kubrick was known for his exceptional visual style and artistic expression. He began his career as a magazine photographer and subsequently began directing short films. His first big break came with the hit movie Spartacus.
Mel Brooks is the director of iconic comedy films and spoofs like The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety and Spaceballs. He is also an actor and a writer and has written for many films. He has received many awards and accolades and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film. The Producers, in 1969.
10 Orson Welles
American filmmaker, Orson Welles, acted in and directed the 1941 film, Citizen Kane, which is considered to be one the greatest movies ever made. Though hailed as a genius, many of his films didn’t work at the box office. The Stranger, Macbeth, Chimes at Midnight, Touch of Evil and The Trial are some of the other films that he directed.
11 David Lynch
American filmmaker David Lynch is widely regarded as one of the most influential and accomplished directors of the modern era. Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, The Straight Story, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire are some of his acclaimed films. He was given an honorary Oscar in 2019. He is also a painter and a musician.
12 Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson’s movies mostly have eccentric narratives. BBC named his films The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel to their list of the greatest films made since 2000. He owns a production company and has won a Silver Bear for the animation film Isle of Dogs.
13 Spike Lee
Spike Lee is a celebrated and one of the most decorated American filmmakers of his generation. Most of his critically acclaimed films explore political issues, such as urban crime and poverty, colorism in the African-American community, and race relations. Four of his films have been selected for conservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
14 Danny DeVito
An award-winning actor, Danny DeVito overcame a rare genetic disorder called Fairbank's disease to become an influential figure in the American film industry. Along with Michael Shamberg, he founded a production company called Jersey Films, which went on to produce films like Pulp Fiction. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
Francis Ford Coppola is an American filmmaker. Widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers ever, Francis Ford Coppola was a prominent figure in the Hollywood Renaissance filmmaking movement of the 1960s and 1970s. A much revered and celebrated filmmaker, he is credited with directing some of the greatest films of all time, including The Godfather movie series.
Christopher Reeve had a flying start to his acting career as he played the iconic Superman in four films. Unfortunately, he became a quadriplegic after suffering an accident at an equestrian competition. Despite the setback, he continued contributing to the film industry and also founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation as part of his charitable work.
Emilio Estevez is known for acting in movies like The Mighty Ducks, The Breakfast Club and Repo Man as well as Bobby and The Public, the last two of which he also wrote and directed. One of the members of 1980s Brat Pack group of actors, he has also directed television shows like CSI: NY and appeared in music videos.
18 Rob Reiner
19 Ethan Hawke
American actor, Ethan Hawke, is an acclaimed artist and has had a successful career. His breakthrough role was of a school student in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. Training Day, First Reformed, Boyhood, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight are some of his critically appreciated movies. He has also directed several films and acted in many stage productions.
Veteran actor and filmmaker, Tommy Lee Jones, has had a career spanning over half a century. he has played many notable roles onscreen and is especially known for portraying real-life characters like businessman Howard Hughes. He has won an Academy Award for his performance in the movie, The Fugitive. Tommy Lee Jones is an inductee to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
American actor, Matthew Gray Gubler, is best known for playing the character of Dr Spencer Reid in the popular and acclaimed television series Criminal Minds. He has also acted in films like 500 Days of Summer, Suburban Gothic and How to Be a Serial Killer. He won a Daytime Emmy Award for his role in the television series, The Beauty Inside.
26 Don Cheadle
27 Regina King
Regina King was first noticed when she appeared in the series 227 and then gained fame with her role in Jerry Maguire. Her performance as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk won her both the Academy and the Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.
A multifaceted personality, Rob Schneider is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. Beginning his career with the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, he proceeded to act in films, first appearing in supporting roles and then graduating to starring roles. He is an outspoken critic of childhood vaccinations. His daughter, Elle King, is a popular musician.
29 Rob Zombie
The founding member of the popular heavy metal band White Zombie, Rob Zombie is an American singer-songwriter, voice actor, and filmmaker. Having incorporated horror and sci-fi themes into his music and lyrics from the beginning of his career, Zombie often entertains his audience visually in his live shows; he is credited with popularizing shock rock theatricality.
Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.
Buster Keaton was an American comedian, filmmaker, actor, and stunt performer. Regarded as one of the greatest actor-directors of all time, Keaton was renowned for his physical comedy. Counted among the greatest stars of classic Hollywood cinema by the American Film Institute, Buster Keaton's films remain highly regarded. His 1926 film The General was admired by actors like Orson Welles.
Born to actor-director John Huston and ballerina Enrica Soma, Anjelica Huston was no stranger to the world of entertainment as a child. Initially a model, she later became full-time actor and won an Academy Award for her role in Prizzi's Honor. She later became a regular in Wes Anderson’s films.
Melissa Gilbert is an actress and politician. She played an important and influential role in the American film and TV industry while serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild between 2001 and 2005. Also a writer, Melissa Gilbert has published an autobiography, cookbook, and short story for children.
34 Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk began his career as an SNL writer but shot to fame only after starring as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and its spin-off, Better Call Saul. He has also been part of critically acclaimed movies such as Nebraska and The Post, and has directed and produced several shows.
An American actress, singer, songwriter, filmmaker, writer, and YouTuber, Jennette McCurdy is truly an inspiration to several young girls and women; despite suffering from conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, and bulimia, McCurdy has managed to establish herself as a successful entertainer. As a writer, she has contributed immensely to publications like The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Seventeen.
36 Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone is a filmmaker best known for his trilogy of war films, which he made based on his own experience in the Vietnam War, where he served as an infantry soldier. Known for making controversial films based on political issues, he is often criticized for misrepresenting real-world events and promoting conspiracy theories in his films.
David Boreanaz is an American actor, director, and television producer. He came into prominence after playing Angel on the popular supernatural drama TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is also credited with co-founding Chrome Girl, a nail polish line, along with his wife Jaime Bergman and their friends Aaron Ravo and Melissa.
40 James Caan
Best known for playing the iconic character of Sonny Corleone in the movie, The Godfather, James Caan is a practising martial artist, apart from being an actor and director. He has trained under Japanese-American master of karate, Takayuki Kubota, for almost 30 years. For his contributions to arts, he was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence is a German-born American actor, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. Renowned for his comedy roles in popular film series like Bad Boys and Big Momma's House, Lawrence's journey from being a Golden Gloves boxer to becoming one of Hollywood's most-loved comedic actors is quite inspirational. Over the years, he has also had a brush with the law.
42 James Gunn
At the age of 12, James Gunn started making 8 mm zombie films in the woods near his home along with his brothers. What started as a fun activity, eventually helped Gunn establish a career in filmmaking. Apart from filmmaking and acting, he is also interested in music and writing; he founded a band in 1989 and wrote a novel in 2000.
44 Zach Braff
American actor Zachary Braff made his mark in the entertainment industry with the long running television series Scrubs and later with Alex, Inc. As a director and scriptwriter, his first movie Garden State was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards including a Grammy. The popular actor has done theatres and also voiced for many commercials and Disney animations like Chicken Little.
46 Johnny Sins
Dennis Hopper was an American actor, photographer, and filmmaker. His directorial film debut Easy Rider glorified the counterculture of the 1960s and became the cinematic symbol of counterculture, inspiring several youngsters. Also a photographer, Hopper’s photographs of the 1963 March on Washington were published. Hopper is also credited with influencing actress Amber Tamblyn whose father was one of his friends.
48 Seth Green
Seth Green is a popular American actor and voice artist who is credited with co-creating the famous adult animated comedy TV series Robot Chicken for Adult Swim. As a voice actor, Seth Green has contributed immensely to the success of series, Family Guy.
The daughter of the popular filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola followed in her father's footsteps to become a screenwriter and filmmaker. Sofia became only the second woman to win the Best Director award in the history of Cannes Film Festival when she won the award at the 2017 Festival.