Spielberg has been the most consistently brilliant director through the years. He has taken risks no other director has dared to take. He has created films that instantly became part of pop culture. He has made powerful dramas exploring some of the darkest chapters in human history with restraint and respect. But, we are here today to reveal 16 interesting facts that you may not about the man.
1. He received the Germany’s Cross of Merit with star for his sensible representation of Germany’s history in Schindler’s List (1993).
2. He has one of the original Rosebud sleds from Citizen Kane (1941) in his house.
3. He was born to Arnold Spielberg, a computer engineer, and Leah Adler, née Posner, a restaurateur and concert pianist.
4. He received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the U. S. Navy’s highest civilian honor, on Veterans Day 1999 for his work on the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998).
5. When he was a child, he sneaked onto the lot of Universal Studios during a tour and befriended an editor who showed him a few things about filmmaking.
6. He was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in New Years Honours 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the British film industry. As a non-Commonwealth citizen, he will not be able to use the title.
7. He spent five months developing the script for Rain Man (1988) with Ronald Bass, but had to commit to his handshake deal to direct Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Spielberg gave all of his notes to Barry Levinson.
8. He personally offered the American Beauty (1999) script to Sam Mendes, who ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Director on the film, which was Mendes’s debut feature.
9. He is an Eagle Scout and was on an advisory board for the Boy Scouts of America. He left this position because he did not agree with the fact that the Boy Scouts of America discriminated against homosexuals.
10. He was directing a childbirth scene when he received a call that Amy Irving was giving birth to their son Max Spielberg.
11. When he used product placement in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), he used Reese’s Pieces only because M & M’s parent company didn’t want their product associated with aliens and UFOs.
12. He has directed 13 actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Liam Neeson; Ralph Fiennes; Anthony Hopkins; Tom Hanks; Melinda Dillon; Whoopi Goldberg; Oprah Winfrey; Margaret Avery; Christopher Walken; Daniel Day-Lewis; Tommy Lee Jones; Sally Field and Mark Rylance. Day-Lewis and Rylance won the award for their performances in Spielberg movies.
13. He has always been very protective of his name. If his company is working on a film and he feels it is not up to his standards, he will remove his name as a producer.
14. He owns one of the largest gun collections on the East Coast. He shoots, but only privately.
15. He struggled with dyslexia his whole life but was not diagnosed until very recently (approx.2007).
16. In 2002, Steven Spielberg finally finished college after a 33 year hiatus. He turned in Schindler’s List for his student film requirement.