Directors

Remember Catch Me If You Can, Schindlers List or even Saving Private Ryan? They are all Directors are the ones who direct the translation of the script into the final movie. They guide the complete process of making of the film starting right from the visualization of the script to the completion of the filming. The role of a director in film making is extremely complex—he is responsible not just for the technical aspects, but also for the dramatization and artistic elements of film production. Direction is a highly creative process; the director has to give a concrete form to the written words in the script by translating them into sounds and visuals. He has to guide the cinematographer in camera placements, selection of shots and staging of the action. He has to manage the flow of film production in a controlled pace by working with the other crew members and guiding them in setups and rehearsals. Film making involves various components which are to be converged into a single complete unit, i.e., the movie. It is the director who coordinates the efforts of the different professionals involved in film making to realize the artistic vision that eventually takes the shape of a film. Read on to know about the life and works of famous directors, through their biographies and timelines, from around the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: December 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati

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.

 2 Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 31, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
The quintessential Western man in the Hollywood movies, Clint Eastwood is regarded as the cultural icon of masculinity. Eastwood’s brilliant portrayal of tough, rugged, ruthless guy in the Western movies endeared him to the masses and brought him international fame.
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 3 Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino
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Famous As: Fimmaker
Birthdate: March 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Knoxville

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."

 4 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito
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Birthdate: November 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neptune Township, New Jersey, United States

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.

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 5 Regina King

Regina King
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA

 6 Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

The star of John Wick, Speed and The Matrix films, Keanu Reeves has displayed his wide range as an actor, time and again. The humble Canadian actor has also famously given away his money to recognise the work of crew and to enable the production team to hire good actors.

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 7 Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi
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Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: August 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wellington
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 8 Brie Larson

Brie Larson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Brie Larson is a name that has become synonymous with powerful, independent female warriors, both on and off screen. From an Oscar-winning performance of a kidnapped victim to playing the lead in the first female-led superhero movie, Captain Marvel, Larson has been breaking gender norms and shattering stereotypes. She has been working fiercely towards inclusivity and diversity in Hollywood.

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 9 Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman
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Famous As: Actress, Producer, Director
Birthdate: June 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jerusalem

Debuting at the age of thirteen, Israeli American actress Natalie Portman is today one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Her movie list is impressive with successful projects like Black SwanJackie, Star Wars, Closer and Thor. While pursuing her passion for acting, the Academy award winning actress also ensured to complete her studies and graduated from Harvard University.

 10 Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

 11 Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: May 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York

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.

 12 Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster
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Famous As: Actress & Director
Birthdate: November 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Jodie Foster is considered to be one of the best actors of her time. She attained fame as a child actor in the acclaimed film Taxi Driver. Some of her memorable roles as an adult are The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs and Sommersby. She’s a director too. Foster has been in the news for her sexual orientation.

 13 Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester, Minnesota, USA

 14 Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

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.

 15 Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 28, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

Karen Gillan is one of the most popular and successful actresses from Scotland. She is best known for playing Nebula and Ruby Roundhouse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and Jumanji film series respectively. Also a filmmaker, she wrote and directed The Party's Just Beginning, apart from acting in the film. She is also a philanthropist.

 16 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kew Gardens, New York, United States

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.

 17 Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States

Elizabeth Banks is famous for The Hunger Games film series and Pitch Perfect film series. The 2019 action comedy film Charlie's Angels was directed, written and produced by her, in which she acted too. The Spider-Man trilogy, Seabiscuit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Next Three Days and Power Rangers are some of her other notable films. 

 18 Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States

A multi-talented personality, Steven Seagal started his career as a martial artist; he is the first foreigner to run an aikido dojo in Japan. He then showcased his skills in many of his films. Also a skilled guitarist, Seagal has worked with legends like Stevie Wonder. A well-known animal rights activist and environmentalist, Seagal holds American, Russian, and Serbian citizenship.

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 19 Laura Dern

Laura Dern
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: February 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

American actress, Laura Dern, gained international recognition with the 1993 film Jurassic Park. A Perfect World, Citizen Ruth, Little Fockers, Wild and Star Wars: The Last Jedi are some of her notable films. She has also starred in acclaimed television series like Enlightened and Big Little Lies. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2020 for the film Marriage Story.

 20 Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: August 13, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, England
Died: April 29, 1980

Popularly known as the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock pioneered the Hitchcockian style of filmmaking. One of the most studied filmmakers in the world, Hitchcock is also one of the most influential in the history of cinema. In his career, that spanned six decades, he directed some of the greatest films of all time, such as Psycho and Vertigo.

 21 Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: January 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bunkyō

Considered one of the most prominent filmmakers in the history of animated films, Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator and manga artist. A co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki has gained worldwide acclaim as a maker of animated films and a masterful storyteller. Miyazaki has served as an inspiration to several world-renowned animators and directors, including James Cameron and Wes Anderson.

 22 Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States

The Queen of American romantic comedy movies in 1990s, Meg Ryan is best recognised for her role in When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, all of which earned her prestigious award nominations. After proving her mettle in romantic comedies Meg Ryan showed her versatility as actress by acting in other genre movies. She made her directorial debut with Ithaca.

 23 Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California
Teri Hatcher is best known for her Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning performance as Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives. She also voiced Dottie in the Planes movies and was seen as Lois Lane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and as Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies.

 24 Lake Bell

Lake Bell
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Lake Bell is an American actress, screenwriter, and director. Also known for her good looks and fashion sense, Bell has been featured on lists like Femme Fatales' 50 Sexiest Women, Maxim's Hot 100, and British Vogue's 10 Best Dressed Women. Apart from being an actress and model, Bell also contributes as an automotive writer and editor to The Hollywood Reporter.

 25 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 26 Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 26, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Copenhagen

The winner of Critics' Choice Television Award, Giancarlo Esposito is known for playing a variety of roles in films and TV series. From portraying drug dealers to policemen, Esposito has proved his versatility in the American film industry. He has also been featured in popular video games, such as Payday 2 and Far Cry 6.

 27 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier
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Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor who became the first Afro-Bahamian and Black male actor to receive an Oscar for Best Actor in 1964. In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life and work inspired a couple of documentary films, including the 2008 film Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood.

 28 Ed Harris

Ed Harris
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Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

 29 Asa Akira

Asa Akira
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 30 Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, United States

American actress, Lucy Liu, shot to fame with television series Ally McBeal and later proved her acting skills with films like Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill, Volume 1, Shanghai Noon and television series Elementary and Southland. Intelligent and multitalented, she has voiced animated films, turned producer/director, made her Broadway debut and last but not the least, is also a visual artist.

 31 David Fincher

David Fincher
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Famous As: American director
Birthdate: August 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Denver

 32 Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 33 Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie
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Famous As: Musician & Filmmaker
Birthdate: January 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Haverhill

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.

 34 Ekta Kapoor

Ekta Kapoor
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Famous As: Producer
Birthdate: June 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: India

 35 Lisa Ann

Lisa Ann
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Easton, Pennsylvania, USA

 36 Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kansas City
Don Cheadle is best known for his Academy Award-nominated performance as Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda and as War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has been a UN ambassador for environment and has won the BET Humanitarian Award for his efforts to end genocide in Rwanda and Darfur.

 37 Kendra Lust

Kendra Lust
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madison Heights, Michigan, USA

 38 Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: August 1, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Reading

Sam Mendes is an English filmmaker known for his dark re-inventions of popular stage musicals. The recipient of a Tony Award, Mendes received the Academy Award for his film directorial debut American Beauty. In the 2020 New Years Honours, he was knighted for services to drama. He was also featured on the 100 most powerful people in British culture list.

 39 Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

 40 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 41 Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris

French actor Mélanie Laurent shot to fame with her Étoiles d'Or-winning role in Dikkenek and her César Award-winning performance in Don't Worry, I'm Fine. She made her Hollywood debut with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and was also seen in Now You See Me. She has also released a music album.

 42 Constance Wu

Constance Wu
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, USA

 43 Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 44 Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States

An actor best known for playing Bruce Banner / Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films, Mark Ruffalo has been active in Hollywood for over three decades. Even though he began acting in the late 1980s, he started getting noticed for his skills only in the 2000s. He has been nominated for numerous awards, including an Academy Award.

 45 Soni Razdan

Soni Razdan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 25, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, England, UK

 46 Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 47 Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, USA

 48 Angela White

Angela White
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

 49 Bonnie Wright

Bonnie Wright
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 17, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Bonnie Wright is an English actress, filmmaker, screenwriter, and activist. She is best known for portraying Ginny Weasley in the popular Harry Potter movie series. Over the years, Wright has been playing a key role in raising awareness about plastic pollution. She also serves as an ambassador for an international non-governmental charity called Lumos.

 50 Neena Gupta

Neena Gupta
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: India
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