Jim Jarmusch Biography

Jim Jarmusch is an independent American film producer, director, screenwriter and actor. To know about his profile, childhood, life and timeline, read the biography below.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 22, 1953

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Jim Jarmusch Humanitarian

Age: 67 Years, 67 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: James R. Jarmusch, James Robert Jarmusch

Born in: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

Famous as: American film director

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Sara Driver

U.S. State: Ohio

Founder/Co-Founder: Exoskeleton Production Company

More Facts

education: Medill School of Journalism, New York School, Columbia University

awards: 2004 - Filmmaker on the Edge Award

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Renowned as an independent filmmaker, director and actor, Jim Jarmusch has evolved as cult figure in cinema of the 20th and the 21st century. All his life he has made films with the sole purpose of seeking pure artistic satisfaction, rather than commercial benefits and is one of very few film personalities who have been successful in independent cinema. During his career spanning over more than three decades, he has come up with a number of award-winning films which have helped him carve a niche in the present day film industry and have also gained him an international audience. His films enjoy a special status in the European nations and also in Japan and have made a permanent impression on the filmgoers there. Breaking away from conventional filmmaking, Jarmusch intends to create a world of cinema which is a pure work of art, free of any commercial interests. Like many budding filmmakers and actors, this filmmaker had a rough beginning and had to face the acidic reviews from critics and disapproval of the audience for his debut movie. Undeterred by any such obstacles, he went on to produce his next film, which was a huge success and earned him favorable reviews. Since then, his career has been on a rise and he has been hailed as one of the finest independent filmmakers all across the globe.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Jarmusch was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio into a family with modest background. Jarmusch was introduced to the world of cinema by his mother, who was once a film and theatre reviewer. He saw the first adult film in 1958, when he was just five.
  • Encouraged by his grandmother, he read a lot of books and showed great interest in literature, which later helped him shape his literary skills.
  • He graduated from high school in 1971, after which he moved to Chicago to study at the Medill School of Journalism. However, his lack of interest in studies was not accepted by the school authority and he was asked to leave. Owing to his interest in literature and history, he decided to transfer to Columbia University where he studied his desired subjects.
  • In his new university, he was acquainted with English and American literature and soon he was editing ‘The Columbia Review’, a college journal. In 1975, he graduated from Columbia, after completing a summer exchange program in Paris. In 1976, he applied to the film school ‘Tisch School of the Arts’ in New York and entered on the basis of his photography skills and an essay he had written about filmmaking.
  • He worked as an assistant to renowned film director Nicholas Ray, who offered him to work on his documentary ‘Lightning Over Water’. However, owing some issues related to funding of the project, the university did not give him a degree.
  • In 1980, he made his first feature film ‘Permanent Vacation’. Though it did not please the critics or the audience, it definitely caught their attention.
  • His next movie was in 1984, ‘Stranger Than Paradise’ which was well received and won a number of awards. It was followed by the 1986 movie ‘Down by Law’ in which he introduced Italian comedian Roberto Benigni to the American audience.
  • In 1989, came ‘Mystery Train’ and in 1991 he made ‘Night on Earth’. By now, Jarmusch had gained small but strong fan-following in America and was seen as a cult figure in Europe and Japan.
  • He released ‘Dead Man’ in 1995 which starred famous actors like Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer. The film was not much appreciated in America, but was well-received internationally.
  • In 1999, he released one of his major works ‘Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai’, a crime action film and after a break for some time he released ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ in 2003.
  • His next movie was ‘Broken Flowers’ in 2005 which starred actor Bill Murray who played the role of a retiree in search of his unknown son’s mother. In 2009, he made another movie ‘The Limits of Control’ based on the life of an assassin and his mission.
  • He made appearances in the HBO series ‘Bored to Death’ in 2009 and 2012 he released ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ which was screened in the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.
  • As of now, he is working on a documentary film on ‘The Stooges’, a rock band and is also writing an opera about Nikola Telsa, a Serbian-American inventor.
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Major Works
  • His 1984 film ‘Stranger Than Paradise’, had a huge impact on the independent cinema and is considered one of his best early works. The movie was made with a modest budget of US$100,000 but earned an impressive $2,436,000 at box-office.
  • ‘Dead Man’ which was released in 1995 was considered by some critics as the best movie of the later part of the 20th century. The movie earned $1,025,488 at the box office and also entered the Cannes Film Festival in that year.
  • His next big movie was ‘Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai’ in 1999 which made $9,380,473 at the box office.
  • In 2003, he made ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ which included eleven short stories with coffee and cigarettes being an integral part of the movie. The film had an overall collection of $7,929,307 at the box-office.
Awards & Achievements
  • He won the ‘Filmmaker on the Edge Award’ at the ‘Provincetown International Film Festival’, in 2004, for his accomplishments as an independent filmmaker.
  • In 2005, he was awarded the ‘Grand Prix’ at 2005 Cannes Film Festival for his film ‘Broken Flowers’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Jarmusch is very discreet about his private life. His long-term relationship with filmmaker Sara Driver is the only thing known to the public pertaining to his personal life. The couple stayed together for many years before ending their relationship.
  • This famous independent American filmmaker, who shot to fame with ‘Stranger Than Paradise’, does not allow his movies to be dubbed in foreign languages.
  • This independent American director, producer and actor successfully entered the Tisch School of the Arts to study film making, even though he never had any prior experience in film making.

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How To Cite

Article Title
- Jim Jarmusch Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- October 06, 2017
Jim Jarmusch

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